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Cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James urged people to “check your poo” in her final message before her death.

James, also known as Bowel Babe, died “peacefully” on Tuesday and continued her tireless campaigning right until the end.

The 40-year-old mother of two had been diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and began campaigning to raise awareness of the disease on the BBC podcast You, Me and The Big C, and through social media and charity work.

James’ family shared a statement on her Instagram, writing: “We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Dame Deborah James; the most amazing wife, daughter, sister, mummy. Deborah passed away peacefully today, surrounded by her family.”

It continued: “And a few final things from Deborah…’find a life worth enjoying; take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope. And finally, check your poo – it could just save your life.’”

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James’ passing has been met with an outpouring of grief and a host of tributes celebrating her legacy from across culture, politics, and the public.

Broadcaster Lorraine Kelly wrote: “We all knew it was coming but somehow I thought Deborah would bounce back like she always did.

“What a legacy she leaves us. Sending so much love to her family and everyone who knew her.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer wrote: “Deeply sad news.

“Dame Deborah James’ charity work was truly inspirational — even in the most challenging moments, she continued to raise awareness about bowel cancer and impacted so many people’s lives.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.”

Cancer Research UK tweeted: “This is such incredibly sad news. Dame Deborah James brought her rebellious hope to everything she did, we will all miss her deeply.

“Our thoughts are with her family, friends and all those whose lives she touched.”

BBC Newsreader George Alagiah said: ‘Knowing that @bowelbabe Dame Deborah James was nearing the end of her journey here does not make her passing any easier to accept.

“She was a beacon, lighting the way for all of us #livingwithcancer. Thank you for your example. Deborah, rest in peace now.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “I’m terribly saddened to hear that Dame Deborah James has died. What an inspiration she was to so many.

“The awareness she brought to bowel cancer and the research her campaigning has funded will be her enduring legacy.

“Because of her, many many lives will be saved.”

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