Deborah James honoured with damehood after inspiring nation to raise £3m for cancer charities in a week

Deborah James has been honoured with a damehood after she inspired the nation and raised more than £3m for cancer charities in less than a week.

Ms James, renowned for her BBC podcast, You, Me and the Big C, revealed on Monday that she had started end-of-life care for bowel cancer.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have donated to her cause, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, raising more than £3.7 million.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m blown away and feel incredibly honoured”, Ms James said of her Damehood last night.

“I don’t feel like I deserve this. I can’t tell you what this means to my family, it’s so much to take in,” she told The Sun.

No 10 confirmed that Ms James is to be made a dame, saying: “The Queen has been pleased to approve that the honour of damehood be conferred upon Deborah James.”

Boris Johnson said the gong was “richly deserved”.

“Deborah has been an inspiration and her honesty, warmth and courage has been a source of strength to so many people”, the Prime Minister said.

“Through her tireless campaigning and by so openly sharing her experience she has not only helped in our fight against this terrible disease, she has ensured countless others with the Big C have not felt alone.

“I hope this recognition from Her Majesty — backed I’m sure by the whole country — will provide some comfort to Deborah and her family at this difficult time.

“My thoughts are with them and Deborah should know she has the country’s love and gratitude.”

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