The U.K. radio host, who revealed Monday that she has entered hospice care amid her years-long battle with bowel cancer, shared in a Tuesday update that her Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research initiative raised 2 million pounds (equivalent to $1,233,00 USD), 1 million pounds of which was raised within the first 24 hours of the organization's launch.
James revealed the major accomplishment in a message shared on her Instagram Story, writing that she was "utterly in disbelief to wake up to £2 million ($2.46 million) in the fund" after she asked fans in her Monday "goodbye" post to "please buy me a drink to see me out this world, by donating the cost" to the fund. James, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, went on to thank her followers "for your generous donations. Thank you for helping me build a future where we can [show] cancer who is boss." The 40-year-old presenter of the BBC's You, Me and the Big C went on to note that "we have brilliant, enthusiastic talent in this country – let's support them to do the best job they can to give more people time living."
During an interview with BBC on Tuesday, James added that she was "absolutely mind blown" after the Bowelbabe Fund raised so much money. James said the influx of donations "means so much to me. It makes me feel utterly loved. But it makes me feel like we're all kind of in it at the end together and we all want to make a difference and say, 'You know what? Screw you cancer.' You know, we can do better."
Opening up about the Bowelbabe Fund, James said that although she "always knew there was one thing I wanted to do before I died," she didn't "quite realize how little time we have to suddenly organize things. Had I actually thought 'Oh yes, I'm going to die,' I would have probably started organizing six months ago." She revealed that she began Bowelbabe Fund with her father and his girlfriend, who stepped in to help set up the online campaign.
James, who throughout the course of her cancer battle has campaigned and worked to spread awareness, told BBC, "ultimately what I really want to happen is I don't want any other Deborahs to have to go through this. We know that when we catch cancer early, we can cure it." She added, "Before I die the one thing I knew I wanted to do was set up a fund that can continue working on some of the things that gave me life such as innovative drug studies."