Dame Deborah James’s daughter, 13, reveals she’s ‘walking in mummy’s footsteps’ by raising money for her mother’s Bowelbabe Fund a year after campaigner’s death
- Dame Deborah James tragically lost her battle with cancer aged 40 in June 2022
- Her teenage daughter Eloise is continuing to raise money for Bowelbabe Fund
Dame Deborah James’s daughter has revealed that she is ‘walking in mummy’s footsteps’ by raising money for her mother’s Bowelbabe Fund a year after the inspirational campaigner’s death.
Thirteen-year-old Eloise lost her mother at the age of 40 in June 2022, five years after the BBC podcast presenter and former headteacher was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer when she found blood in her stool.
In her final weeks, the presenter of the You, Me And The Big C podcast raised £6.75million for cancer research and she was made a dame by Prince William for her ‘tireless’ work improving awareness of the disease.
Now, just over a year after her mother’s death, fashion-obsessed Eloise has launched her own In The Style collection which will raise money for the Bowelbabe Fund.
Eloise has revealed that every piece is inspired by her mother, who had designed her very own collection just weeks before her tragic death.
Dame Deborah James’s daughter is proud to say that she is ‘walking in mummy’s footsteps’ by raising money for her mother’s Bowelbabe Fund. Pictured: Dame Deborah and her daughter Eloise
Dame Deborah James tragically lost her battle with cancer aged 40 in June 2022. Her family posted this picture of her when they announced her death
Just over a year after her mother’s death, fashion-obsessed Eloise has launched her own In The Style Collection which will raise money for the Bowelbabe Fund. Pictured: Deborah James partnered with In The Style before her tragic death
‘I am so excited and proud to be able to do this,’ Eloise told The Sun. ‘I’m walking in my mum’s footsteps and following the path she set for me.’
READ MORE: Dame Deborah James’s mother shares a heartfelt message on the first anniversary of her daughter’s death – as Prince William pays a personal tribute
Eloise’s father Sebastien Bowen said that what his daughter is doing is ‘exactly’ what his wife would have wanted. Seb, who is also a father to 15-year-old Hugo, added: ‘I am incredibly proud and I know Deborah would be too.
‘It’s exactly what she wanted for Ellie, and it’s a lovely example of how she was determined to do things in those last weeks to set the kids up for later in life.’
Seb added that he wanted to make sure that the Bowelbabe Fund, the children and the family had ‘something really positive to focus on’ after her heartbreaking battle with cancer.
It was May 9 last year when the mother-of-two shared a heartbreaking ‘goodbye’ message to her Instagram followers, revealing she was being moved into hospice-at-home care at her parents’ house, while ‘surrounded by family’, because ‘my body simply isn’t playing ball.’
While she said at the time that no one knew how long she may live, she had revealed she was given just days when she was released from hospital in May 2022.
At the time of her death, Dame Deborah had raised an astonishing £7million for cancer research. Her target was to raise £250,000 but today it stands at £11.3million as her legacy continues.
Her proud daughter Eloise said that her mother’s fundraising efforts were an ‘amazing achievement’ and she is extremely excited to ‘continue what my mum started’.
At the time of her death, Dame Deborah had raised an astonishing £7million for cancer research. Pictured: Deborah and her daughter Eloise in front of the Eiffel Tower
Dame Deborah was made a dame by Prince William for her ‘tireless’ work improving awareness of the disease
Dame Deborah told her children Eloise (L) and Hugo (R) to ‘take chances and experience life now’ – something Eloise is certainly doing
Eloise’s father Seb (second from left) said that what his daughter is doing is ‘exactly’ what his wife would have wanted
Dame Deborah worked with In The Style to launch a charity t-shirt with the motto ‘Rebellious Hope’ before she then created a beautiful collection of dresses, skirts and tops to raise money for the fund.
Eloise has paid tribute to her mother by using stunning designs with bright colours and rose patterns – a nod to Deborah’s favourite flower. She even had a rose named after her which she said that she hoped one day her daughter would choose to have ‘in her wedding bouquet’.
The teenager believes that her mother would be proud of her because she loved working with In The Style.
Her father said that Eloise has always loved arts and fashion and even as a young girl she was coming up with designs and ideas.
Eloise said it was a ‘dream come true’ to work as a fashion designer and she has loved having her ideas made into a reality.
Last month, Deborah’s mother and Eloise’s grandmother posted a heartfelt message on the first anniversary of the presenter’s death.
Heather James, 65, shared an emotional tribute to her ‘interesting, fun, and manic’ daughter and the ‘incredible legacy’ she left behind.
Heather wrote: ‘Today is the first anniversary of our eldest child Deborah’s death. Deborah came into the world full of energy and never stopped over the next 40 years.
‘The past 12 months have not been easy but we remember with immense pride and love the amazing impact she had on so many lives and the incredible legacy she has left.
Eloise has paid tribute to her mother by using stunning designs with bright colours and rose patterns – a nod to Deborah’s favourite flower
Eloise and Dame Deborah having fun together before the BBC podcast presenter tragically died
The teenager believes that her mother would be proud of her because she loved working with In The Style
‘We were young parents when Deborah was born and the first cuddles and touches with your firstborn are something you remember forever and cannot be taken away from you – life with Debs was always interesting, fun, and manic but there was always a determination in her to help others achieve their full potential especially in her teaching career.
‘When first diagnosed with Bowel Cancer it took us time to realise the seriousness of her diagnosis but we immediately knew she wanted to share her story with others to establish open communication about a subject that many considered a taboo – you will all agree she succeeded !
‘We followed and supported her work in the last 5 years of life but also remembered we were there as her ever loving parents and grandparents to her children.
‘In what became very difficult times it was wonderful to see the immense love and support she received from her husband Sebastien and their children, her siblings Sarah & Ben together with the unwavering support of their families.
She continued: ‘During her final weeks at home the atmosphere was unique but most importantly loving – we all understood what the end would be, although I struggled to believe that Deborah was facing the end of her life that she loved so much, but there was a determination to enjoy every last minute and experiences we had together.
Dame Deborah’s target was to raise £250,000 but today it stands at £11.3million as her legacy continues
Prince William visited Dame Deborah and her family to honour the inspirational mother-of-two with a Damehood
‘Although I’m sure nobody expected that Prince William would join us for tea & champagne!!
‘Deborah you always provided a challenge but it was your ability to put it in the right direction and communicate so brilliantly that made a difference.
She concluded: ‘As your brother said on the eve of your funeral – from the beginning you taught me how to live – you had that effect on far more people than you ever knew and that is why you were so loved and are now so missed – Deborah we love you for ever. Xx’
The former deputy head teacher, who was known to many as Bowel Babe, intimately detailed the last five years of her life online.
Her candid posts about her progress and diagnosis – including videos of her dancing her way through treatment – won praise from the public and media alike.
Dame Deborah told her children to ‘take chances and experience life now’ – something Eloise is certainly doing.
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