Dame Deborah James has bid an emotional goodbye to her brother as she receives end-of-life care following a brave five-year battle with terminal bowel cancer. Her brother headed off on holiday to the US after Deborah, 40, insisted he go on the trip he had planned for ages, warning him to “not come back under any circumstances”.
The mum-of-two has documented her cancer battle over the years, helping raise awareness of bowel cancer symptoms. Speaking to The Sun, she said of her brother Ben: “He’s off on holiday to the US tomorrow. I have told him they have to go, they’ve planned the trip for ages. I also told him he must not come back, under any circumstances. He says he’ll come home. It’ll be horrible saying goodbye to him. I can’t really think about it right now.”
Deborah, who is receiving the care at her parent’s house in Woking, also spoke of her sadness at not being able to see her brother’s children following his engagement to partner Ashley. Deborah said at the time: “He finally put a ring on it. If you follow me, you will know brother banter features highly, and even Prince William got in on the action recently. The question to my brother has always been, ‘why haven’t you proposed?’”
Speaking to the publication, Deborah burst into tears at not being able to see her nieces and nephews, nor be at their wedding. She said: “My brother will be the most amazing dad. I am so pleased he is engaged, I love Ashley and they are so happy together.
“I have watched him with my kids over the years, and especially recently. He’s that incredible fun uncle, he and Ashley spoil them rotten. And he’s wonderful with his godchildren too. It breaks my heart that I won’t see their kids, or see the dad he will be.”
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