Molly-Mae Hague has heaped praise on Deborah James after the writer raised £5.8million for charity and was given a Damehood amid her bowel cancer battle.
The Love Island star, 22, gushed that the BBC podcaster, 40, was ‘incredible’ and an ‘amazing woman’ as she lauded her impressive fundraising efforts.
Molly-Mae took to her Instagram Stories on Friday to share the sweet tribute alongside a snap of Dame Deborah on BBC News as she revealed that her mother Debbie has met the journalist.
Tribute: Molly-Mae Hague has heaped praise on Deborah James after the writer raised more than £5.8million and was given a Damehood amid her bowel cancer battle
At the time of Molly’s post, Dame Deborah had raised nearly £4million for Cancer Research UK through her Bowelbabe fund on Just Giving, but the campaign total now stands at more than £5.8million.
In a gushing post, Molly-Mae penned: ‘You are incredible.
‘My mum went to an event especially to meet Deborah a few years back because we were so touched by her journey and podcast.
‘What an amazing woman she is having nearly raised four million pounds.’
‘Incredible’: The star, 22, gushed the BBC podcaster, who was made a Dame this week (pictured with her Damehood), was an ‘amazing woman’ as she lauded her fundraising efforts
Praise: Molly-Mae took to her Instagram Stories on Friday to share the sweet tribute alongside a snap of Dame Deborah on BBC News
Dame Deborah has been battling bowel cancer since 2016 and she revealed earlier this week that she has moved to her parents’ home in Woking for end of life care.
Since her diagnosis, Dame Deborah has documented her journey online and set up the successful charity Bowelbabe, which has raised more than £5.8million on Just Giving.
Having set her original fundraising target at £250,000, she has now raised more than 22 times her goal.
On Friday, Dame Deborah also enjoyed ‘tea and champagne’ with Prince William as he presented her with a Damehood for her tireless campaigning and fundraising efforts.
She took to Instagram on Saturday to post pictures of the Duke with herself and her family, saying the visit gave them ‘so much to smile about in the sadness’.
Illness: Dame Deborah has been battling bowel cancer since 2016 and she revealed earlier this week that she has moved to a hospice for end of life care
She told her 686,000 followers: ‘I believe I may have had the most surreal, mind blowing, humbling 5 days of my life.
‘I cannot thank you for your generosity at launching the @bowelbabefund which now stands at £5.7 million, and to the @dukeandduchessofcambridge for going above and beyond to make a very special memory happen yesterday.
‘Can’t quite believe I’m actually a Dame! My family are being amazing and as emotional as it all is, we are finding so much to smile about in the sadness.’
She admitted to ‘getting weaker and more tired’, but continued: ‘I always said I wanted to slide in sideways when my time is up, with a massive smile, no regrets and a big glass of champagne! Still my intention!!!’
Deborah was made a dame by the Queen this week for her commitment to raising awareness and funds for bowel cancer following her diagnosis in 2016.
Celebrations: On Friday, Dame Deborah also enjoyed ‘tea and champagne’ with Prince William as he presented her with a Damehood for her tireless campaigning and fundraising efforts
Family: Dame Deborah (centre, with husband Sebastien Bowen, left, and children Eloise, 12 and Hugo, 14) told of how ‘kind’ William (right) and said he ‘made everyone feel at ease’
The monarch led praise for Dame Deborah, saying she was ‘pleased’ to approve the Damehood, while the Prime Minister said ‘if ever an honour was richly deserved, this is it’.
In her fundraising efforts, Dame Deborah reached the £5million milestone on Friday after donations from more than 240,000 supporters, including William and his wife Kate.
Her Just Giving page said it is ‘raising money to fund clinical trials and research into personalised medicine for cancer patients and supporting campaigns to raise awareness of bowel cancer’.
She said she was ‘completely lost for words’ after reaching the phenomenal amount.
TV presenter Lorraine Kelly responded to the news, saying: ‘This is just wonderful – tears and laughter – love you @bowelbabe.’
Amazed: Reacting to her Damehood, Deborah told her 686,000 followers that she ‘can’t quite believe I’m actually a Dame’, adding that she is ‘finding so much to smile about in the sadness’
Fundraising: Since her cancer diagnosis, Dame Deborah has documented her journey online and set up the charity Bowelbabe, which has raised more than £5.8million on Just Giving
In a post on Instagram on Friday night, Dame Deborah thanked everyone who had donated to the Bowelbabe fund and said she was ‘lost for words’.
She wrote: ‘Thanks to an incredibly generous donation earlier today, and to every single person who’s donated to the @bowelbabefund, we’ve just reached the unbelievable total of £5m.
‘We’re completely lost for words. This is all just beyond anything we could have ever imagined. The last five days have been surreal.’
She added: ‘Thank you for putting a huge smile on my face, and helping us to launch a legacy to hopefully impact a lifetime cutting edge cancer care.’
On Thursday, Number 10 confirmed Deborah was to be made a dame, saying: ‘The Queen has been pleased to approve that the honour of Damehood be conferred upon Deborah James.’
Honoured: Dame Deborah’s husband while husband Sebastien Bowen (pictured in 2019) said a Damehood was ‘something that she would never have dreamt of but it is so truly deserved’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘If ever an honour was richly deserved, this is it. Deborah has been an inspiration and her honesty, warmth and courage has been a source of strength to so many people.
‘Through her tireless campaigning and by so openly sharing her experience she has not only helped in our fight against this terrible disease, she has ensured countless others with the Big C have not felt alone.
‘I hope this recognition from Her Majesty – backed I’m sure by the whole country – will provide some comfort to Deborah and her family at this difficult time. My thoughts are with them and Deborah should know she has the country’s love and gratitude.’
Dame Deborah’s children Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, said they were ‘speechless’ and ‘so, so proud’, while husband Seb said a damehood was ‘something that she would never have dreamt of but it is so truly deserved’.
Heartbreaking: Deborah announced in a heartbreaking message that her active treatment for her bowel cancer was stopping and that she was moving to a home hospice for end of life care
Damehoods and knighthoods are usually listed in the New Year or Queen’s Birthday Honours, but in exceptional circumstances some are announced at other times.
It comes after Deborah moved millions as she announced in a heartbreaking message that her active treatment for her bowel cancer was stopping and that she was moving to a home hospice for end of life care.
The mother-of two is preparing to spend her final hours on her parents’ lawn surrounded by family, drinking Champagne, having been told by her hospice nurses: ‘You are dying, you can drink what you like.’
In a tearful final newspaper interview she said on Friday: ‘The one thing my family know is I am petrified of being alone. I don’t want to die alone.’
Tragic: She said she has started her ‘to-do death list’ to support her kids Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12, when she is gone, and has urged her husband Sebastien to find love
When asked about the end of her life approaching, she said: ‘I have moments when I just sob uncontrollably, but I can’t spend my last few days crying, it would be such a waste. So I’m trying to compartmentalise my death’.
She said she has started her ‘to-do death list’ to support her kids Hugo and Eloise when she is gone, and has urged her husband Sebastien to find love, with the caveat: ‘Don’t be taken for a ride, don’t marry a bimbo’.
Dame Deborah said she has written letters for her children to help them with their first dates and wedding days, and will buy Hugo ‘a nice pen or wallet or cufflinks’ and Eloise ‘Tiffany bracelets and earrings’ to remember her – as well as some presents and postcards from her for the future.
Her funeral is also planned where she will be cremated, but she hopes her ashes will be kept in the family kitchen ‘for a while’ before being scattered.
Family: The mother-of two (pictured with her husband Sebastien) is preparing to spend her final hours on her parents’ lawn surrounded by family, drinking Champagne