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Dame Deborah tells children to 'marry only for love' in heartbreaking final letter

MyLondon logo MyLondon 07/08/2022 Kat Pirnak & Connie Evans
Deborah James died surrounded by her adoring family © Instagram Deborah James died surrounded by her adoring family

Dame Deborah James told her children to “marry only for love” in a letter written to them and her husband before her death. Deborah, also known by her social media handle Bowel Babe, died on June 28 at the age of 40 after suffering from bowel cancer.

In a letter written to her husband Sebastien and two children, 14-year-old Hugo and 12-yaer-old Eloise, Deborah wrote : “You can make plans, and you can have goals, but you have to be prepared for the fact that sometimes life is more interesting when you go off-piste, so be brave. Take a chance and back yourself. Remember to be your number one cheerleader."

The letter, which was later published by the Sun, also said: “Learn to balance living in the now and being present in the moment with your plans for the future (although this may be the hardest lesson of all). Marry only for love."

READ MORE: Dame Deborah’s husband shares heartbreaking details of his wife’s 'peaceful' last moments

In early May, the former deputy headteacher and cancer campaigner revealed she had stopped active treatment and was receiving end-of-life care at her parents’ home in Woking, with her husband and their two children on hand. The podcaster was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and subsequently kept her one million Instagram followers up to date with her treatments.

In a separate section of the letter about her husband, Deborah wrote: “I never quite knew if you could really have a love of your life, but I now know what the very core of unquestioned love is between two people. I have always loved my husband. I fancied him from when I first met him, and I knew I would marry him after our third date. It was clear to me that, while he wasn’t perfect, there was something about him that was right for me.”

Deborah's social media posts about her progress and diagnosis, including videos of her dancing her way through treatment, won praise from the public and media alike. Alongside Lauren Mahon and Rachael Bland, she launched the You, Me And The Big C podcast in 2018. The trio, who were all former or current cancer patients, candidly discussed life with, treatment of and other topics relating to cancer.

Shortly before her death Deborah revealed she had completed her second book, which is due to be published on August 18. Her first book, F*** You Cancer: How To Face The Big C, Live Your Life And Still Be Yourself, was published in 2018.

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