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Who Cares Wins Awards will be too late for me

DAME Deborah James today urges readers to ‘make it big’ for their own healthcare heroes by nominating them for The Sun’s ‘Who Cares Wins Awards’.

Sun columnist Dame Debs is a longtime supporter and judge of our annual awards, which honor the extraordinary people who keep our healthcare service running, from cleaners to porters, nurses to doctors and paramedics.

A grateful Deborah with some members of the health team who treated her at the Royal Marsden Hospital in 2019

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A grateful Deborah with some members of the health team who treated her at the Royal Marsden Hospital in 2019Photo credit: Guilhem Baker – The Sun
Dame Deborah James challenges readers to nominate healthcare heroes for The Sun's Who Cares Wins Awards

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Dame Deborah James challenges readers to nominate healthcare heroes for The Sun’s Who Cares Wins AwardsCredit: Tim Stewart
Dame Deborah James, pictured with husband Sebastien Bowen, is a longtime supporter and judge of our annual awards

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Dame Deborah James, pictured with husband Sebastien Bowen, is a longtime supporter and judge of our annual awardsPhoto credit: Instagram

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At last year’s awards, nominees Prince William, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and David Beckham were honored in a star-studded ceremony, shown on Channel 4 and hosted by Davina McCall.

And as we open nominations for our fifth Who Cares Wins Awards, Deborah is urging YOU to share the stories of the healthcare heroes who changed your life.

The former deputy headmaster, who is in end-of-life care after being diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in 2017, said: “I’m impressed by the NHS, the Who Cares Wins Awards are the perfect opportunity to make it big” for heroes like this.

“Over the years it has been a great honor for me to be a judge at the Awards, to present awards and to meet all the incredible nominees. It’s an incredible event and gives us all a chance to give our NHS heroes the recognition they deserve.


Nominate your NHS hero here


I'm nervous but so excited for my collection to go live TONIGHT says Deb James
Precious memories make me smile and keep me going, says Deborah James

“It goes without saying that I will forever be indebted to the incredible team that looked after me at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey.

“Not a single doctor, nurse or specialist has kept me alive in the last five years, it has cost an army.

“I owe my five years to the team at The Royal Marsden who told me they would throw the kitchen sink at my cancer and never gave up

“From the receptionists who greet me with a smile, to the porters who calm me down on the way to my scans in the middle of a panic attack, to the nurses who hold my hands during chemotherapy, to the surgeons who have blasted countless tumors and my oncologist who monitors everything, they all got me this far.

“I’m so grateful to have the reassurance that we tried everything, they left no stone unturned.”

Dame Debs, who has son Hugo, 14, and daughter Eloise, 12, with husband Sebastien Bowen, added: “You gave me a lot more time with my family and for that we will all be forever grateful.”

Earlier this week, Prince William visited the team treating Debs at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea, west London. He told the NHS team that presenting her damehood to her earlier this month was “a very special moment”.

The start of this year’s Who Cares Wins Awards is tinged with sadness as Deborah, who is being cared for by a hospice team at her childhood home in Woking, knows she probably won’t live long enough to see the ceremony.

She said: “I’m disappointed I’m going to miss this year’s awards, a chance to dress up and dance and say thank you in person. Wherever I am, I will raise a glass and take care of you all.”

After her diagnosis, Dame Debs began sharing her journey on an online blog called Bowelbabe and in her Sun column, Things Cancer Made Me Say.

“Recognition They Deserve”

The 40-year-old said: “My story is not sadness, it’s a celebration of living five years with terminal cancer, I’ve been so lucky. I was told I might not live to see my first Christmas after the diagnosis, but I braved the odds.

“How? A big dose of rebellious hope and a team of incredible medical professionals who never gave up on me.

“There’s a saying, ‘Behind every great man is a great woman.’ Far behind every stage 4 cancer patient is a heroic team of medical professionals and support staff getting the job done.”

It’s these jobs that Dame Debs wants you, Sun readers, to acknowledge by nominating your heroes.

Whether it’s your GP who refused to give up, the paramedic who brought you back to life, or the hospital porter who went above and beyond the call of duty, we want to hear from YOU.

Dame Debs said: “Please nominate your NHS heroes, show them how much they mean to all of us and let us all thank them.

“And to all the NHS staff who have been there for me over the past five years I just want to say a big thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Find out how to nominate your NHS heroes below. The closing date for entries is July 12th.

Who Cares wins awards

THE Sun’s Who Cares Wins Awards is back – and we need YOU to nominate your healthcare heroes.

Our annual awards, in partnership with NHS Charities Together, honor the extraordinary people who keep our healthcare service running, from cleaners to porters, nurses to doctors and paramedics.

And this year we have another special awards night planned.

So if there is someone who has helped you or your family who deserves recognition for their incredible work, this is your chance to say thank you.

Nominations should relate to help you have received in the last 12 months, unless it is one person’s hard work over many years.

The closing date for entries this year is July 12th.

Public support is vital – from Ellie Orton OBE, chief executive of NHS Charities Together

THE NHS is the backbone of this country, with staff as its beating heart, and it’s had another heroic year.

Our workforce has had a mountain to climb, with immense pressure on our services, long waiting lists and high expectations of an uninterrupted recovery from the pandemic.

As a national, independent charity looking after the NHS, our research has shown that eight in ten NHS workers (81 per cent) believe the increasing pressure on NHS services is as worrying as the peak of the Covid pandemic .

We know the public still feels an overwhelming pride and affection for healthcare.

Having this base of support is so important to our health workers who have done everything possible as the ministry goes down a long road to recovery.

Each of us has a reason to be grateful to the NHS and to have the opportunity to celebrate some of our heroes for the Who Cares Wins Awards is very special.

We’d like to thank all of our healthcare workers from across the NHS – from the brave nurses, doctors and paramedics on the front lines, to the crucial people behind the scenes who keep everything running, to the volunteers who support their local services .

Every human being has made extraordinary efforts to keep us all running and caring for us during the pandemic and continuing to help us today – and beyond.

Prince William presents Deena Evans with her 999 Hero Award

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Prince William presents Deena Evans with her 999 Hero AwardCredit: Paul Edwards
Winner Charmaine George with her Mental Health Hero 2021 award.

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Winner Charmaine George with her Mental Health Hero 2021 award.Credit: Paul Edwards
Deborah James, pictured with family, receives her damehood from Prince William

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Deborah James, pictured with family, receives her damehood from Prince WilliamPhoto credit: Graham Prentice
'Dame Debs' at last year's Who Cares Wins Awards

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‘Dame Debs’ at last year’s Who Cares Wins AwardsCredit: Louis Wood
The closing date for entries is July 12th

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The closing date for entries is July 12th

https://www.the-sun.com/health/5431383/who-cares-wins-awards-dame-deborah-james/ Who Cares Wins Awards will be too late for me

Sarah Y. Kim

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