Who was Deborah James? What Happened to Deborah James?

“I’m alive when I should be dead. In another movie, I missed the sliding door and departed this wondrous life long ago. Like so many others, I’ve had to learn to live not knowing if I have tomorrow, because, statistically, I don’t.

At the age of 35, I was blindsided by incurable bowel cancer – I was given less than an 8% chance of surviving five years. Four years later, my only option is to live in the now and to value one day at a time.”…Deborah James(how to live when you could be dead.)

Deborah James.BBC podcaster and writer.

Deborah is a 40-year-old bowel cancer patient and cancer advocate. She is a writer and a podcaster. She was a journalist at BBC Radio 5 and The Sun. She has written servers top-rated books on diseases with one named “Fv*k you cancer”.

Deborah James lives in London with her family. Married to Sebastian Bowen a banker at Pomona Capital. In July of 2008, the pair tied the knot and had two adorable kids.

Prior to her diagnosis in 2016, Deborah would have issues and disagreements with Sebastian which would lead to a possible divorce, however, the diagnosis will lead them to become closer and their love became much stronger.

Deborah James with husband Sebastian Bowen

Deborah James was also deputy headteacher leading national research teams into growth mindsets in schools. She wrote and presented the award-winning, chart-topping podcast ‘You, Me & the Big C’ for BBC’s Radio 5 Live, which has built up a strong following on Instagram. She was recently awarded an Honorary doctorate for her work in opening up the Cancer conversation on a national platform.

She is also an ambassador for the British Triathlon and Race for life and encourages people to just give the sport a go.

Deborah James together with Sebastian has two children Hugo a son who is 14years old and Eloise a 12year old daughter.

Deborah James with children Hugo and Eloise


What happened to Deborah James?

In 2016, at the age of 35, Deborah was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer a scary moment that turned he whole life upside down. Stage 4 bowel cancer is incurable and usually gives you a short time to live. In Deborah’s case, she was given a 5 year estimated life span period. However, she jumped this estimated period to 2021.

Early on in January this year she was rushed to the hospital for varicose vein bleeding making her think that was her final days on earth but in just a month’s time she’d be discharged as she was able to heal.

Following her bowel cancer state, she has undergone several major operations including bowel and lung resections with multiple rounds of chemo, targeted therapy, ablation, and Cyberknife. Not giving up, she constantly updates her fans and followers about her state of health and still helps to create awareness to encourage others to seek early treatment since cancers can be cured when detected in their early stages.

Deborah was responding well to treatment until she made a heartbreaking loss on Monday 8th May 2022 on her Instagram handle. She wrote: “The message I never wanted to write. We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball.” “Nobody knows how long I’ve got left but I’m not unable 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.”

What Happened to Deborah James?
What Happened to Deborah James?

Even at her lowest moments, she is still hopeful that a miracle may happen and expresses how grateful she would be to see sunrise day by day.  She has since encouraged her fans to help flourish her foundation by “buying her a drink to see her off from this life” .


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