Podcaster and cancer campaigner Deborah James has opened up about her fear of dying and of not seeing her two children grow up in her heartbreaking final column.
After being diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2016, the former deputy head teacher become heavily involved in charity work to raise money and awareness for cancer research, and grew a loyal fan base on Instagram, where she is known as Bowel Babe.
But on Monday evening, the mother-of-two shared the ‘message I never wanted to write’, announcing that her treatment had been stopped and she had been moved into hospice at home care.
Deborah is now spending her final days at home surrounded by her family and, last night, she wrote a lengthy and emotional ‘goodbye’ in her final column, where she detailed her fear of dying and not seeing her children – fourteen-year-old Hugo and twelve-year-old Eloise – grow up.
She wrote: “I do not want to die – I can’t get my head around the idea that I will not see my kids’ weddings or see them grow up – that I will no longer be a part of life that I love so much.
“I am not brave – I am not dignified going towards my death – I am simply a scared girl who is doing something she has no choice in but I know I am grateful for the life that I have had.”
Deborah went on to reveal that she and her husband, Seb, have made their children their own memory boxes, and have bought them gifts for certain key future birthdays.
In an emotional interview with BBC Breakfast this morning, Deborah spoke again of her children, saying she knows they are going to be ‘more than looked after’.
She said through tears: “I trust my husband… He’s just the most wonderful man. And so is my family. I know that my kids are going to be more than looked after and surrounded by love.
“My kids are going to be fine.”
On Monday, Deborah shared the heartbreaking news that her cancer treatment had been stopped, writing: “We have tried everything, but my body simply isn’t playing ball.
“My active care has stopped and I am now moved to hospice at home care, with my incredible family all around me and the focus is on making sure I’m not in pain and spending time with them.
“Nobody knows how long I’ve got left but I’m not able to walk, I’m sleeping most of the days, and most things I took for granted are pipe dreams.”
Deborah went on to ask people to ‘buy a drink for her’ by donating to her newly established Bowel Babe Fund, which raises awareness and money for charities close to her heart, including Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
At the time of writing, the Bowel Babe Fund has raised an incredible £3m. Donate for yourself here.
Deborah is best known as one of the presenters of the BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C, and her work with ITV on the No Butts Campaign, which spreads awareness and information on bowel cancer and its symptoms.
For more information on bowel cancer and the signs to look out for, visit the Bowel Cancer UK website.
Ikea ‘collect near you’ hubs to launch in several Greater Manchester Tescos
It’s the retailer collab we didn’t know we needed…
A number of Tesco supermarkets in Greater Manchester are set to host Ikea ‘collect near you’ points as part of an ‘exciting’ new pilot.
Tesco Extra Stockport and Tesco Extra Bolton Horwich will both see IKEA ‘collect near you’ bays installed in their car parks in an attempt to reduce delivery costs from the furniture retailer.
Customers will be able to meet with a delivery driver at the designated collection bays to pick up their orders in a move that IKEA says will ‘make it easier than ever’ to shop with them.
Seven Tesco stores in total have been selected for the collaboration’s initial rollout, including sites in Liverpool, Blackburn, and Doncaster.
Tesco Blackburn will be the first supermarket to launch the trial next month on October 10th, with other sites set to follow later this year.
Tesco is set to run the trial for an initial period of six months.
An Ikea spokesperson said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Tesco to test and trial more convenient, accessible and affordable collection services in the UK.
“The pilot will launch in Bolton and Stockport later this year. While we are unable to share exact dates at the moment, we will be sure to share further details in the coming months.”
Retail analyst Natalie Berg named the collaboration as ‘interesting’, writing on Twitter: “Really interesting IKEA/Tesco collab. Ikea gets the need to become more accessible (despite the ££) and imagine more pressing now w/ consumers shying away from big-ticket buys and consolidating trips.”
However, she added that customers will still need to spend £200 for the ‘free’ collection.
The full list of trial sites is:
- Tesco Blackburn Superstore.
- Tesco Doncaster Extra.
- Tesco Cambridge Newmarket Road Superstore.
- Tesco Dereham Extra.
- Tesco Bolton Horwich Extra.
- Tesco Stockport Extra.
- Tesco Liverpool Old Swan Superstore.
Toys ‘R’ Us relaunches in the UK just in time for Christmas
Shoppers can browse a selection of over 14,000 toys from 100 suppliers
Toys ‘R’ Us has officially relaunched its UK website with thousands of toys and gadgets up for grabs.
The online shop has over 14,000 toys from over 100 suppliers for sale, including toys by Lego, Marvel, Star Wars, Crayola and Play-Doh.
Free delivery is available for all orders over £20, while next-day delivery is up for grabs on orders placed before 6pm.
A message on the website reads: “We’re back! We can’t wait to develop and grow with you and your loved ones, over the coming weeks, months and years!”
The store has also re-opened its sister site Babies ‘R’ Us, which sells everything from pushchairs, prams, children’s clothing and baby carriers.
This news comes nearly a year after the retailer initially announced it would be returning to the high street – in October 2021, its parent firm signed a long-term exclusive licence agreement to relaunch the stores across the UK from 2022 onwards.
After struggling to keep up with the new age of online shopping, Toys ‘R’ Us was forced to close all of its UK and US stores back in 2018, much to the dismay of those who grew up with the retailer throughout the 2000s.
Toys ‘R’ Us Australia chief executive Louis Mittoni, who has spearheading the UK launch, said in a statement at the time: “I’m very excited to welcome over 100 years of retailing experience in our new team, who will lead the relaunch our iconic brand back into the UK market in the next few months.
“We have an amazing toy and baby buying team, which I believe is the best in the country.
“With this team now in place, we’re hitting the ground running and have been reaching out to the supply base to see with whom we can align on this amazing journey.”
Toys ‘R’ Us launched in the UK in 1985, when it emerged as the ‘world’s first toy supermarket’.
Ian Brown’s brutal response to fan who asked why he played gig without a band
A number of fans have criticised the singer for performing alone without a band
Ian Brown gave a savage response to a fan last night following the controversy surrounding his solo Leeds gig over the weekend.
The Stone Roses frontman kick started his first UK tour in a decade at the Leeds O2 Academy on Sunday, with him due to perform at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse this Friday (September 30th).
However, many fans were left disappointed by Brown’s performance thanks to the absence of the rest of the band, with one concert-goer describing it as him ‘[doing] karaoke and butchering his own tunes.’
Alongside of a video showing Brown singing alone on an empty stage, fan Steven Latham wrote: “Gutted to see @ianbrown turn up to his £40 a ticket, sold out gig at Leeds tonight WITH NO BAND.
“I’m a life long fan but it was bad. #ianbrown does karaoke and butchers his own tunes. Most were too p****d to care but I had to get out after this one.”
Another fan slammed the singer for not giving musicians the opportunity to make some money ‘after a difficult few years’, writing: “Musicians and crew need work after a difficult few years.
“Ian Brown can afford to employ people but don’t quite get why he chooses not to?”
However, this comment seemingly touched a nerve with Brown, who scathingly replied in a now-deleted tweet: “I have a crew of 12 out on the road with me [sic] What’s it got to do with you you jealous p***k?”
The singer also took the time to respond to other fans who enjoyed last night’s concert in Glasgow, with him writing: “GLASGOW. HATERS HATE AND LOVERS LOVE!”
Other concert-goers praises Brown’s performance last night, with another fan noting: “Far more honest to play to a backing track on your own, than be in a band pretending to be 100% live yet playing along to a backing track.”
A second added: “This was an amazing show. Cool and surprising concept for Ian Brown to just present himself, the man and king on stage. He sounded great. Fans had a great time.”
Ian Brown’s headline tour continues tonight in Edinburgh, with following shows scheduled for Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and London.