Dame Deborah James smiling during BBC interview
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How inspirational Dame Deborah James made the very best of her final days

Deborah died yesterday aged 40

Dame Deborah James passed away yesterday after a six-year-long battle with bowel cancer. She was just 40 years old.

Back in May, Deborah revealed that she only had weeks left to live. However, that didn’t stop her from making the most of her final days.

Dame Deborah James speaking on Lorraine from hospital room
Deborah died yesterday (Credit: ITV)

Dame Deborah James’ final days

Deborah was incredibly busy during her final weeks, with achievements and incredible milestones being smashed up until her death.

Perhaps the biggest thing that happened to Deborah before her death was when she received a damehood.

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Prince William himself hand-delivered Deborah’s damehood to her at her parents’ home.

The damehood was awarded to the star after she raised millions of pounds for Cancer Research UK.

Prince William later paid tribute to Deborah, branding her “incredible”, and he had been “honoured” to meet her.

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A post shared by Deborah James (@bowelbabe)

Deborah James’ t-shirt collection

One of the ways in which Deborah helped raise money in her final days was by launching her own t-shirt range.

Her t-shirts, which had ‘Rebellious Hope’ written on them, helped raise even more money for Cancer Research UK.

Plenty of celebrities grabbed themselves a shirt from Dame Deborah, including Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

Deborah James’ memories with family

It wasn’t just charity work that Deborah got involved in during her final days.

She also spent a lot of time with her family too. Back in May, the 40-year-old made “new memories” with her daughter and her friends with a sleepover.

Speaking about the slumber party, Deborah wrote: “I went from staying in my wheelchair to ending up everyone helping to get me into an actually Tee pee to watch Cinderella with the gang and sit there like a 5-year-old with a huge Cheshire Cat smile on my face next to my daughter and sister.”

Deborah James speaking from her hospital bed on Lorraine
Deborah kept busy during her final days (Credit: ITV)

Deborah’s outings

As well as making memories with her kids, Deborah also attended a number of events in her final weeks despite having end-of-life care.

She visited the Glyndebourne Opera House earlier this month, as well as the Royal Chelsea Flower Show too.

Deborah was also in attendance at the Royal Ascot a couple of weeks ago, where she met Ruth Langsford.

After her trip to the races, she said: “I find myself living in limbo-land. Not really knowing what the future holds and for how long.

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“So despite the unnerving tears, I look at the sunshine, smile, and think, wow, life is a funny thing, isn’t it!! Better enjoy it!”

Deborah also found out that her brother was engaged to his partner before she died, and even managed to celebrate raising a million pounds with her t-shirt range.

Just earlier this week, Tesco pledged £300k to Deborah’s Bowel Babe fund – something she and her family celebrated too.

Her legacy will definitely live on.

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