BBC Breakfast’s Sally Nugent fights back tears as she pays tribute to Deborah James after heart-wrenching final post

BBC Breakfast’s Sally Nugent fights back tears as she pays tribute to Deborah James after heart-wrenching final post

BBC Breakfast’s Sally Nugent fought back tears today as she paid a moving tribute to Deborah James.

The 40-year-old author, podcaster and campaigner took to social media on Monday to sadly announce that she had moved to hospice-at-home care amid her battle with bowel cancer.

During today's show, Sally and co-host Dan Walker informed viewers of Deborah's latest update, with Dan saying: "Now, many of you will know Deborah James.

"She is the presenter of You, Me and the Big C podcast and she's been on this programme many times as well.

"We have been fortunate enough to have her not only on the sofa, but during the pandemic we spoke to her on numerous occasions, didn't we?"

Sally continued: "Sadly, Deborah – who was diagnosed with bowel cancer five years ago – shared a message on her Instagram account yesterday saying she's now been moved to hospice-at-home care.

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"These are her words now: 'The message I never wanted to write. We've tried everything, but my body simply isn't playing ball'."

Sally was emotional as she read out the message, and her voice was so thick with tears that Dan had to take over.

He said: "Deborah has now announced she's set up the Bowel Babe fund in her name, to try and raise money for cancer research.

"She included links to some of the charities closer to her, including Cancer Research UK, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and Bowel Cancer UK.

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"And there's been so much money, hasn't there, donated?"

Sally could only nod as he continued: "I think just over £700,000 already in the last few hours since she put that out last night, which is an incredible amount of money.

"I think the point was she wanted people to buy her a drink, but buy her a drink in terms of giving money to those charities."

Sally wasn't the only newsreader to become emotional over Deborah's story today, as over on Good Morning Britain, Susanna Reid also choked up as she hailed the campaigner as "inspirational".

Deborah – who is a columnist at The Sun – said in a statement yesterday: "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.

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"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.

"I know we have left no stone unturned. But even with all the innovative cancer drugs in the world or some magic new breakthrough, my body just can’t continue anymore."

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