Kate and William issue rare personal message in deeply emotional tribute to Deborah James

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KATE, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William issued a deeply personal message in the wake of the death of Dame Deborah James.

“Our thoughts are with her children, her family and her loved ones.

“Deborah was an inspirational and unfalteringly brave woman whose legacy will live on.”

In a clear sign the message had been written by them, the Duke and Duchess signed off the tweet with their initials, W and C.

Kate and Prince William during an engagement

Kate and Prince William penned a message following the death of Dame Deborah James (Image: GETTY)

Prince William pictured with Dame Deborah James and her family

Prince William awarded Deborah James her damehood in person at her home (Image: BOWELBABE/INSTAGRAM)

This statement was shared hours after Dame Deborah’s family took to her social media accounts to announce her death aged 40.

Sharing a picture and a video of the former deputy head teacher, Dame Deborah’s loved ones wrote: “We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy.

“Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family.”

The message paid tribute to the 40-year-old campaigner, broadcaster and journalist who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016.

Kate and Prince William attending an engagement

Kate and Prince William made a private donation to the Bowel Babe Fund (Image: GETTY)

“Deborah shared her experience with the world to raise awareness, break down barriers, challenge taboos and change the conversation around cancer.

“Even in her most challenging moments, her determination to raise money and awareness was inspiring.”

After pledging to continue Dame Deborah’s legacy, her family shared one last message from the campaigner.

Kate and Prince William in Manchester

Kate and Prince William supported the Bowel Babe Fund in a tweet (Image: GETTY)

Dame Deborah James attending an event in 2019

Dame Deborah James pictured in 2019 (Image: GETTY)

It read: “Find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.”

Dame Deborah campaigned relentlessly to raise awareness of bowel cancer and shared her daily life with the disease also on her Twitter and Instagram accounts, bowelbabe.

After announcing on May 9 her active care had stopped and that she had started receiving end-of-care treatment at home, the host of the BBC’s You, Me and the Big C podcast launched a fundraising campaign, the Bowel Babe Fund.

The initiative, set to support Cancer UK, Royal Marsden Hospital and Bowel Cancer UK, quickly smashed its initial goal of £250,00.

It has raised almost £7million.

The fundraising effort and Dame Deborah’s announcement about her worsening health conditions gained the attention of the nation, including Kate and Prince William, who tweeted in support of the Bowel Babe Fund and made a private donation to it.

A few days later, the campaigner was granted a damehood, and the award was delivered directly to her home by the Duke.

William was hosted in Dame Deborah’s garden for an afternoon tea and champagne.

He met the campaigner’s family to discuss her extraordinary work.

Prince William during a visit to Royal Marsden

Prince William visited Royal Marsden hospital in May (Image: GETTY)

William, who is president of the organisation specialising in cancer treatment, told Dr Nicos Fotiadis, who had treated Dame Deborah, about meeting her family.

He said: “It was an amazing moment for them.

“I loved meeting her, she was fantastic.”

He added: “I was very honoured to be able to speak to her, it felt like a very personal family moment… it was a glorious day as well.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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