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BBC Breakfast’s Sally Nugent fights back tears paying tribute to Deborah James after heart-breaking final post


BBC Breakfast’s Sally Nugent held back tears in an emotional tribute to Deborah James, who announced yesterday that her cancer treatment has stopped as she’s moved to hospice at home care.

The You, Me And The Big C host was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, and explained in an Instagram post on Monday that her ‘body simply isn’t playing ball’ and her ‘active care has stopped.’

Seemingly holding back tears, Sally and her co-host Dan Walker paid an emotional tribute to their BBC colleague, who has raised more than £1million for cancer research since her heart-wrenching update.

Dan told viewers: ‘Many of you will know Deborah James. She is the presenter of You, Me And The Big C podcast and she’s been on this programme many times as well.

‘We have been fortunate enough to have her not only on the sofa, but during the pandemic we spoke to her on numerous occasions, didn’t we?’

Sally continued: ‘Sadly, Deborah – who was diagnosed with bowel cancer five years ago – shared a message on her Instagram account yesterday saying she’s now been moved to hospice-at-home care.

Deborah shared her last post on Monday (Picture: @bowelbabe Instagram)

‘These are her words now: “The message I never wanted to write. We’ve tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball.”‘

Dan added: ‘Deborah has now announced she’s set up the Bowel Babe fund in her name, to try and raise money for cancer research.

The You, Me And The Big C host set up the Bowelbabe Fund to raise money for bowel cancer research (Picture: @bowelbabe Instagram)

‘She included links to some of the charities closer to her, including Cancer Research UK, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and Bowel Cancer UK. And there’s been so much money, hasn’t there, donated?’

While Sally could only nod looking somber, Dan continued by pointing out how much money had already been raised at the time.

‘I think the point was she wanted people to buy her a drink, but buy her a drink in terms of giving money to those charities.’

Deborah has raised over £1,000,000 for cancer research so far (Picture: @bowelbabe Instagram)

Sally agreed: ‘Well she is succeeding in that so far.’

As well as from Sally and Dan, Deborah has received an outpouring of support from stars including Susanna Reid, Lorraine Kelly and Naga Munchetty.

Susanna dubbed Deborah ‘hugely inspirational and hugely influential’, emphasising how much of a ‘positive effect’ the fund will have as she sent her love to the broadcaster.

Richard Madeley praised her on how ‘extraordinarily frank and open’ she has been throughout her journey, after Deborah wrote in her recent social media post: ‘You are all incredible, thank you for playing your part in my journey. No regrets.’

On Twitter, Lorraine showered her with love, writing in response to her announcement about going into hospice care: ‘Brave bright beautiful woman and her campaigning has saved lives. Honoured to know you lovely Deborah @bowelbabe – love you.’

BBC Breakfast’s Naga described Deborah’s update as ‘heartbreaking’, as she added: ‘I wish you love and peace @bowelbabe xx.’

On her Instagram post yesterday, Deborah wrote as if it were to be her last, saying that it was one she ‘never wanted to write’, and how the focus was now on making her comfortable.

‘My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I’m not in pain and spending time with them,’ she said.

‘Nobody knows how long I’ve got left but I’m not able to walk, I’m sleeping most of the days, and most things I took for granted are pipe dreams. I know we have left no stone unturned. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, my body just can’t continue anymore.’

Since her diagnosis, Deborah has kept her Instagram followers up to date with her treatments, with candid posts about her progress.

On December 14, 2021, she marked five years since her diagnosis, writing on Instagram: ‘I’m fully aware I shouldn’t be alive to write this today.’

You can donate to the Bowelbabe Fund here.

BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.


Credit: Original article published here.

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