Home Life Style Deborah James’ mother Heather reveals she “dreads” the second anniversary of the bowel cancer campaigner’s death because it brings back memories of all their “last” togethers.

Deborah James’ mother Heather reveals she “dreads” the second anniversary of the bowel cancer campaigner’s death because it brings back memories of all their “last” togethers.

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Dame Deborah James' mother, Heather (pictured), has revealed that

Dame Deborah James’ mother has revealed she “dreads” the second anniversary of the bowel cancer campaigner’s death.

The mother-of-two passed away at the age of 40 in June 2022 after a five-year battle with bowel cancer, and used her diagnosis to raise awareness of the disease and create the Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research in the United Kingdom, which has raised more than £12 million.

To celebrate their daughter’s legacy, Heather, 66, and her husband Alistair James, 68, reflected on their final weeks on today’s Loose Women.

Heather spoke about how difficult Deborah’s anniversaries are becoming and said she is having flashbacks of the last moments they shared in the last seven weeks before her passing.

She said: ‘Anniversaries are difficult, this one scared me. It would have been Friday next week when she would have died and in the lead up, seven weeks before, since she came home, we had some good times, but I also have flashbacks of the last time we did this and the last time. we did that. ‘

Dame Deborah James’ mother Heather (pictured) has revealed she “dreads” bowel cancer campaigners’ second anniversary since her death.

Alistair added: “He really enjoyed this time of year. He loved playing tennis, going to Ascot, he loved dressing up, all of these dates occur before the period of his death.

They recalled that it took them four hours to prepare her for her final visit to Ascot in 2022, and said she was “determined” to go but was in “a lot of pain”.

Heather said: ‘Two nights before she had ordered new shoes online but as her feet were swollen she ordered three sizes too big, of course they arrived but they weren’t as long as they were wide.

“She said, ‘I look ridiculous, but I love them, and I know what you’re going to say, I’m not going to be here to wear them,’ but her brother came back to London and got the next size down and wore them, she loved those shoes.

“She carried them in her wheelchair, but of course she also snuck in the matching bag.”

Heather wore her daughter’s earrings on the show because Deborah also told her she should “make a statement” with her jewelry.

She said: “So, I have her big earrings, but Eloise (Deborah’s daughter) will eventually have them all.”

Speaking about Deborah’s legacy, Alistar said her daughter’s ‘big smile’ broke barriers and conveyed the message of knowing your own body.

The mother-of-two (left) passed away at the age of 40 in June 2022 after a five-year battle with bowel cancer. She used her diagnosis to raise awareness of the disease and created the Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK. which has raised more than £12 million

The mother-of-two (left) passed away at the age of 40 in June 2022 after a five-year battle with bowel cancer. She used her diagnosis to raise awareness of the disease and created the Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK. which has raised more than £12 million

To celebrate their daughters' legacy, Heather, 66, and Alistair James, 68, reflected on their daughter's final weeks on Loose Women on Monday.

To celebrate their daughters’ legacy, Heather, 66, and Alistair James, 68, reflected on their daughter’s final weeks on Loose Women on Monday.

Heather talked about how difficult Deborah's anniversaries are becoming and said she's getting flashbacks of all the last moments they shared in the last seven weeks before she passed away.

Heather talked about how difficult Deborah’s anniversaries are becoming and said she’s getting flashbacks of all the last moments they shared in the last seven weeks before she passed away.

He added: “She was a normal person, but she was a teacher and, like many great teachers, she could talk and communicate, she used that skill.”

Heather added: ‘And awareness, her legacy was awareness and if we can keep it up, I think that’s what Deborah is telling me and us as a family to keep going.

“I think Deborah was given to us and she served her time on Earth and achieved what she was meant to be, so I accept that, but I also think she loved life so much that we have to honor her and love life too.” .’

It comes after Alistar said his daughter would tell him to “get some heads together” as his family calls on all UK political parties to commit to a long-term cancer strategy.

Deborah’s family have written an open letter urging all UK political parties to commit to a strategy “to give more people affected by cancer more time with their loved ones”.

Her father, Alistair James, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think this current early diagnosis strategy saves lives and Deborah would say: ‘Dad, that’s common sense. She just puts some heads together and sees if we can get everyone to follow her and work for it.’

Dame Deborah James attending Royal Ascot 2022 at Ascot Racecourse on June 15

Dame Deborah James attending Royal Ascot 2022 at Ascot Racecourse on June 15

Speaking about Deborah's legacy, Alistar said her daughter's 'big smile' broke barriers and conveyed the message of knowing your own body.

Speaking about Deborah’s legacy, Alistar said her daughter’s ‘big smile’ broke barriers and conveyed the message of knowing your own body.

Deborah was released from the hospital to return home to her family for her final seven weeks before her passing.

Deborah was released from the hospital to return home to her family for her final seven weeks before her passing.

In a letter published in The Sun newspaper, Dame Deborah’s husband Sebastien Bowen, her parents Alistair and Heather James and her siblings Ben James and Sarah Wieczorek said they will join Cancer Research UK in its Longer, Better Lives manifesto.

WHAT IS BOWEL CANCER?

Bowel cancer is found in any part of the large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum.

Around 43,000 Britons are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year.

Symptoms include:

  • Changes in your poop, such as having softer poop, diarrhea, or constipation that is unusual for you
  • Need to defecate more or less frequently than usual
  • Blood in your poop, which may look red or black.
  • bleeding from your ass
  • You often feel like you need to poop, even if you just went to the bathroom.
  • stomachache
  • A lump in your belly
  • swelling
  • Lose weight without trying
  • Feeling very tired for no reason

Source: NHS and Cancer Research UK

The manifesto calls on the Government to publish a long-term cancer strategy within a year of the general election, to “drive earlier diagnosis and reduce inequalities in access to treatment and care”.

“That’s why we’re calling on all political parties to make the next general election a historic moment by committing to a long-term cancer strategy in England, helping more people affected by cancer spend more time with their loved ones. loved ones,” he said. the letter said.

‘Sadly, we are not the only ones as a family who lose a loved one too soon to cancer.

‘Many families across the country feel the same anguish every day. But it does not have to be this way.

“People affected by cancer must be at the center of these general elections.”

James told Today the family promised Dame Deborah they would continue campaigning after her death.

He said: ‘His campaign and enthusiasm were very important in getting the message across.

‘And one of the things in his final days, a promise we made as a family to continue his legacy, which was both fundraising and legacy and spreading the message.

‘We knew we would continue with this, it is important that it continues. And Deborah gave us a platform and a voice. It is important that we continue using it.

‘We are talking about our eldest son, who brings back many painful memories, but also many happy memories. And the thing is, we’re very lucky, Deborah might be dead, but she lives on in the thoughts and ideas of many people, and we can talk about it and share it. So I think we benefit, as do other people.’

He added: ‘In the early stages, we knew little about bowel cancer. We knew little even about what was causing it.

‘Deborah was 35, fit, vegetarian, I would be the person you would expect to have bowel cancer, not her.

‘It was very sad that his diagnosis was actually towards the end of stage three when we found out.

‘And we all know that with early diagnosis, in stages one and two, you have a nine out of 10 chance of living.

“Unfortunately, in stages three and four, it is reduced to one in 10 living five years.”

In the letter, Dame Deborah’s family described the You, Me And The Big C podcast host as someone who “broke the stigmas around cancer”, as well as being a “passionate advocate for the importance of early diagnosis”.

“Diagnosing cancer at an early stage saves lives,” the family added.

They said the strategy should include increases in the NHS oncology workforce and investment in “vital diagnostic equipment to ensure everyone who needs it can access the right test, in the right place, at the right time”.

It comes weeks after analysis by the UK’s Bowelbabe Cancer Research Fund suggested bowel cancer cases will rise significantly by 2040.

According to the analysis, cases of bowel cancer will increase from the 42,800 cases currently diagnosed each year to 47,700 due to population growth and aging.

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