BBC Breakfast’s Sally Nugent fought back tears today as she paid a moving tribute to Deborah James.
The 40-year-old author, podcaster and campaigner took social media on Monday to sadly announce that she had moved to a hospice home care amid her battle with colon cancer.
On today’s show, Sally and co-host Dan Walker briefed viewers on Deborah’s latest update, with Dan saying, “Now many of you will know Deborah James.
“She is the host of You, Me and the Big C podcast and she has also been on this program many times.
“Not only have we been lucky enough to have her on the couch, but we’ve spoken to her countless times during the pandemic, haven’t we?”
Sally continued: “Unfortunately, Deborah – who was diagnosed with colon cancer five years ago – shared a post on her Instagram account yesterday stating that she has now been transferred to a hospice home care facility.
“These are her words now: ‘The message I never wanted to write. We’ve tried everything, but my body just isn’t playing along’.”
Sally was emotional as she read the message, and her voice was so thick with tears that Dan had to take over.
He said: “Deborah has now announced that she has established the Bowel Babe Fund in her name to raise money for cancer research.
“She has 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 it, donated?”
Sally could only nod as he continued: “I think just over £700,000 in the last few hours since she released that last night, which is an incredible amount of money.
“I think the point was she wanted people to buy her a drink, but she bought her a drink in terms of giving money to those charities.”
Sally wasn’t the only news anchor to get emotional over Deborah’s story today, as on Good Morning Britain, Susanna Reid also choked when she greeted the campaigner as “inspiring”.
Deborah – who is a columnist for The Sun – said in a statement yesterday: “My active care has ended and I have now moved to a home care hospice, with my incredible family around me and the focus on making sure I have no pain and spend time with them.
“Nobody knows how much longer I have, but I can’t walk, I sleep most days and most of the things I took for granted are sky dreams.
“I know we have left no stone unturned. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or a magical new breakthrough, my body just can’t take it anymore.”
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