The royal couple was devastated to learn of the death of the British journalist Deborah Jameswho died on June 28 after a battle with bowel cancer, aged 40.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Deborah James in one of her last TV interviews
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Prince William met Deborah at her home to honor her with a Damehood in May, after the courageous mother inspired the nation with her efforts to raise millions for bowel cancer charities in a bid to “give more time to more Deborah”.
“We are very sad to hear the heartbreaking news about Dame Deborah. Our thoughts are with her children, her family and her loved ones,” William and Kate said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“Deborah was an inspiring and unwaveringly brave woman whose legacy will live on.”
Deborah previously spoke about how “surreal” it was to have William over to her house for afternoon tea and champagne.
“It’s pretty surreal to have a real pop at home, and yes you can imagine the cleaning antics and prep was off the scale, but it was all irrelevant because William was so nice and put us all at ease,” she told Instagram followers. at that moment.
“It was such a special day for my whole family, creating memories for a lifetime. You are welcome anytime!”
Deborah had fought valiantly since she was given the news in December 2016 that she would not live more than five years.
His distraught family announced the news of his death on Instagram, along with his final words of advice.
“Find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; no regrets; and always, always have a rebel hope,” said Deborah.
“And finally, check your poop, it could save your life.”
The mother-of-two was receiving end-of-life care at her home in the weeks before her death, after telling supporters she “had no choice but to surrender to the inevitable”.
In a statement, her loved ones wrote: “We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mom. Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family.”
‘She touched so many lives’
The family paid tribute to the BBC podcast host who had launched Bowelbabe, a cancer research fund intended to help other people facing similar situations. In just two days, donations reached 5 million Australian dollars.
“Deborah, who many of you will know as Bowelbabe, was an inspiration and we are incredibly proud of her and her work and commitment to charity campaigns, fundraising and her endless efforts to raise awareness of the cancer that has affected so many. lives,” the family said. she said she.
“Deborah shared her experience with the world to raise awareness, break down barriers, challenge taboos and change the conversation about cancer.
“Even in her most challenging moments, her determination to raise money and awareness was inspiring.
“We thank you for giving us private time as a family, and we look forward to continuing Deborah’s legacy in the future through the Bowel Babe Fund.
The family added: “Thank you for playing your part in their journey, you are all amazing.”
In early June, Deborah shared photos of herself at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival, taken five years apart, explaining that she was “taking things one day at a time.”
“I can’t believe I was last here five years ago this week, scared, newly diagnosed,” she said on Instagram.
“At the time, I was seven months out from my diagnosis, and once again I was trying to make the most of not knowing what to expect.”
He was given five years to live after being diagnosed with cancer in December 2016.
“I live while I die,” he said earlier this month.
During the long weekend of the queen’s birthday, the mother attended the opera with her husband Sebastien because she wanted to go to her favorite place “for the last time”.
new challenge to learn
“Another day brings another excuse to spend half the time exhausting myself getting dressed to go to one of my favorite places, but it was worth it,” he said at the time.
“Doing all this in a wheelchair is definitely a new challenge to learn.
“Anyone who has followed me for years knows that the British season is my favorite time of year, which is why all my dresses are named after events! So I figured my goal is to try and fit in some while I’m still kicking and can do it!
However, he admitted that preparing for the event took a heavy toll on him physically.
“Do not flatter yourself! I’m knackered! Getting dressed is exhausting, organizing medications is exhausting, the extra movement, the travel, wondering what mood your stomach is in, it’s all real,” said Deborah.
‘Keep living as you die’
“But then the feeling of arriving at something you didn’t think possible, putting on makeup, putting on new shoes that finally arrived in the right size for hugely swollen feet, with the sunlight smiling, well then it’s all worth it. ”
She added, “It’s kind of a cheeky ‘I’m still alive while I’m dying’ kind of two-finger-for-everything thing!”
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