Stacey Solomon, Molly Mae Hague and Carol Vorderman lead celeb tributes to Dame Deborah James | The Sun

CELEBRITIES has paid an emotional tribute to Dame Deborah James who died "peacefully" from bowel cancer at age 40.

The mum-of-two, known as BowelBabe to her legions of Instagram fans, was diagnosed with incurable bowel cancer just days before Christmas in 2016, at the age of 35.

After learning last month she would receive end-of-life hospice care, she began fundraising in earnest – with the total now topping an astonishing £6.7million.

Celebrities including Stacey Solomon, Molly-Mae Hague and Carol Vorderman have taken to social media to share tribute messages.

Loose Women star Stacey wrote: "Rest in peace Deborah. You are an inspiration and your legacy will live on forever. Thank you for everything that you've done."

Love Island star Molly-Mae penned: "Fly high Deborah. A true hero that helped so many."


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Former Countdown star Carol said: "Rest in peace @Bowelbabe. Your incredible spirit will live on."

This Morning host Holly Willoughby wrote: "Deeply saddened to hear the news about Dame Deborah James, what an inspirational life she had…my thoughts and love to her family."

Former Towie star Kate Ferdinand posted: "Heartbreaking, a true inspiration! Rest in eternal paradise beautiful lady."

TV presenter Julia Bradbury took to Twitter to share a touching message to her friend, writing: "Heartbroken that Dame Deborah James has died.

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"She has been the most incredible ambassador of life & cancer campaigner. My thoughts are with her family & children. Such a huge loss. Your bright light will shine on Deborah. #deborahjames"

Presenter Rylan simply shared a heart emoji alongside Deborah's name.

Ex-Corrie actress Katie McGlynn tweeted: "What a woman!!! My heart breaks for her family and loved ones but what an incredible legacy she leaves behind.. It was my absolute pleasure to have met . @bowelbabe Rest in Peace, Dame Deborah James."

The Sun columnist Piers Morgan posted: "RIP Dame Deborah James, aka Bowel Babe. A truly remarkable and inspiring woman. Such sad news."

Her legions of fans around the country learned of her death in an Instagram post shared from her account tonight.

It reads: “We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy. Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family.

“Deborah, who many of you will know as Bowelbabe, was an inspiration and we are incredibly proud of her and her work and commitment to charitable campaigning, fundraising and her endless efforts to raise awareness of cancer that touched so many lives.

“Deborah shared her experience with the world to raise awareness, break down barriers, challenge taboos and change the conversation around cancer. Even in her most challenging moments, her determination to raise money and awareness was inspiring.

“We thank you for giving us time in private as a family, and we look forward to continuing Deborah’s legacy long into the future through the @bowelbabefund

“Thank you for playing your part in her journey, you are all incredible."

She penned a final missive to supporters before her death. Her words were shared in the Instagram post tonight.

“Find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope," she said.

“And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.”

Despite being told she had an eight per cent chance of living five years, Deborah defied the odds stacked against her.

After celebrating her 40th birthday last October – a birthday she never dreamed she would live to see – the brave campaigner marked the five-year milestone a few months later.

Deborah shared every step of her journey with Sun readers in her column Things Cancer Made Me Say and her army of loyal social media followers.

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She went on to present the award-winning BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C with fellow cancer patients Rachael Bland, who passed away in September 2018, Lauren Mahon and Rachael’s husband Steve.

In the five-and-a-half years since her diagnosis Deborah changed the conversation around bowel cancer, raising vital awareness and breaking down taboos.

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