Deborah James' funeral to take place today
The podcast host passed away last month.
The funeral for cancer campaigner Deborah James is set to take place today, Wednesday 20 July.
The service is expected to be a private gathering of those closest to her.
The You, Me and the Big C podcast host passed away last month after being sick with bowel cancer since 2016. Earlier this year, she had announced that she was receiving palliative care at home.
During the last few months of her life, James' raised a huge amount of money – over £7 million – for a number of cancer charities through her Bowelbabe fundraiser. She was also widely praised for her work in raising awareness and breaking taboos about the symptoms of bowel cancer.
In her final message, which was relayed through her family on her Instagram page, Deborah said: "Find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life."
Following her passing, the NHS noted a huge uptake in searches for bowel cancer symptoms. The day after her death, for instance, there were 23,274 visits to the NHS' page about bowel cancer, compared to just 2,000 on the previous day.
Accordingly, the NHS' chief executive Amanda Pritchard described Dame James as an "inspiration".
She said: "People often don’t feel comfortable speaking about their cancer diagnosis and treatment but Deborah bravely speaking out about her personal journey has prompted thousands more people to check the symptoms. There is no doubt about it – this has been life-saving.
"We must now continue Deborah’s fantastic work in her honour."
She added: "Talking about cancer saves lives. So, our message to you is – don’t be prudish about poo, get checked out if you have worrying signs or symptoms."
For more information on bowel cancer, head to the HSE's website right here.