Deborah James wants to reach £5m by weekend as shes blown away by Damehood, says pal
Deborah James was "lost for words" on Thursday 12 May after being made a Dame and wants to raise £5million by the weekend, her close friend has revealed.
The 40 year old, who has been courageously battling bowel cancer for five years, wrote a heartbreaking “goodbye" post on Monday revealing that her body “just wasn’t playing ball”.
The devastating announcement penned by the mum-of-two, which she asked her followers to donate to cancer research for the price of a drink “to see me out of this world”, has raised a staggering £3.9 million which continues to grow.
Now, her pal and fellow journalist Lizzie Parry has spoken out on ITV's Good Morning Britain, where she told hosts Kate Garraway, 55, and Ben Shephard, 47, that she was left speechless over being made a Dame.
"I spoke to her last night and she, for once, was a bit lost for words," Lizzie shared as everyone giggled.
She continued: "It was incredible… The outpouring of love this week and the incredible support she's been shown, we just thought, 'Why not give it a try?' and it came really quickly. The palace, No.10 were so touched by the story and in a matter of hours turned out this incredible feat."
When Kate asked her how this is "good news" for Deborah, Lizzie shared: "For Debs, ever since she got diagnosed – and I've edited her column in The Sun for the last five years – her driving ambition has been to stop other people face what she's had to.
"In the last week we've seen incredible fundraising and that legacy she'll leave behind. I think this is just the icing on the cake."
Lizzie went on to share that Deborah, who was left emotional over her "hideous" conversations with her children about death, has saved "thousands of lives" through her efforts to raise awareness over the past five years and the fundraiser "will enable her to carry on that".
"She's got this lovely phrase where she feels like she's been riding on the wings of science," she continued. "When she was first diagnosed, the drugs that kept her alive for so long weren't available to bowel cancer patients.
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"So the fund for her will be so vital and the fact that it's nearly at £4million – she said to me last night she wants to his £5million by the weekend, which I think is entirely possible."
In a statement the day before, Downing Street said the Queen was “pleased to approve the honour of Damehood” be conferred upon Deborah.
Revealing her shock at being made a Dame, Deborah told The Sun: “I don't know what to say. I'm blown away and feel incredibly honoured. 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.”
Her children said to the same publication: “We’re just speechless, we’re so, so proud.”
Deborah's husband, Sebastian said that the outpouring of love and generosity has: “Brought a piercing ray of light and hope into this, the darkest of times.
“She has campaigned tirelessly, often through adversity, and being recognised with a Damehood is something that she would never have dreamt of, but it is so truly deserved.”
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