Deborah James' mum shares heartbreaking tribute to her 'darling' daughter on what would have been her 41st birthday | The Sun

DEBORAH James' mum has shared a heartbreaking tribute to her "darling" daughter on what would have been her 41st birthday.

Today marks the inspirational cancer campaigner and Sun columnist's first birthday since she died.

Deborah, known as BowelBabe to her Instagram fans, devoted her final years to raising awareness of cancer symptoms, and final month to raising money for research.

Mum Heather, whose Instagram name is BowelGran, typed out a touching tribute this morning.

She wrote: "Happy birthday to our darling daughter.

"How we wish you were still with us but so proud of all you achieved and the legacy that you have left.

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"You will forever live in our hearts."

She added: "We miss you every single moment of every day."

Thousands of people have since taken to the post to say happy "heavenly" birthday to Deborah, sharing their condolences and memories, too.

The mum-of-two was diagnosed with  incurable bowel cancer just days before Christmas in 2016, at the age of 35.

She was told she had an eight per cent chance of living five years – which she proudly surpassed.

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Deborah shared every step of her journey with Sun readers in her column Things Cancer Made Me Say and her army of loyal social media followers.

She went on to present the award-winning BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C with fellow cancer patients Rachael Bland, who passed away in September 2018, Lauren Mahon and Rachael’s husband Steve.

In the five-and-a-half years since her diagnosis Deborah changed the conversation around bowel cancer, raising vital awareness and breaking down taboos.

She tirelessly banged the F*** Cancer drum – writing a book of the same name – and vowed to do everything she could to help others avoid her fate.

And, just a month before she died, when she was told she would receive end-of-life hospice care, she started the BowelBabe Fund for Cancer Research.

It currently sits at £7.5million, after more than 300,000 people and organisations donated.

The mum's tireless efforts also saw her made a dame.

Deborah's podcast co-host, Steve Bland, also paid tribute to her today.

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He wrote: "Happy Birthday beautiful wonderful Deborah. We miss and think about you every single day.

"Do me a favour and raise a glass to @bowelbabe tonight, or maybe stick a few quid in the @bowelbabefund."

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