Deborah James, popular British media personality, has lost her battle with bowel cancer, dying at the age of 40.

The mother-of-two and podcaster who raised millions of dollars for charity, “passed away peacefully” at home where she had been receiving hospice care, her family has announced.

She received huge attention for detailing her five-year fight with terminal bowel cancer on the popular BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C.

She stepped away from her career as a deputy headteacher and began blogging about her diagnosis under the name Bowel Babe in 2017.

Dame Deborah went on to become a columnist for The Sun and released a book, F**k You Cancer: How to Face the Big C, Live Your Life and Still Be Yourself.

Her fundraiser, the Bowelbabe Fund, has seen more than $12 million raised for bowel cancer. Soon after the fund’s launch, Dame Deborah received a damehood from the Queen with Prince William personally delivering the honour at her parents’ home.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge praised her fundraising achievement saying in a tweet: “Every now and then, someone captures the heart of the nation with their zest for life & tenacious desire to give back to society. @bowelbabe is one of those special people.”

Upon entering end-of-life care a month ago Dame Deborah said: “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.”

In a statement shared, Dame Deborah’s family said: “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.”

In Dame Deborah’s final podcast she urged her listeners to watch for signs of bowel cancer.

Images: Instagram

This article first appeared on OverSixty.