“I honestly have to pinch myself”: Deborah James enjoys Royal Ascot trip as she challenges her life expectancy

Dame Deborah James wore a beaming smile as she celebrated hitting a ‘fab milestone’ with a fun day out at Royal Ascot. The 40-year-old, who was told by doctors she had just days to live, told followers she was now in ‘limbo land’ as she continued to beat her prognosis – and make every day count.

Deborah, who has stage four bowel cancer, spent her day at the races with brother Benjamin James. She was also joined by TV stars Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford at the famous event, the Mirror reports.

In a photo shared on Instagram, Deborah grinned from her wheelchair beside her brother and his new fiancée at Royal Ascot. She wrote: “Yesterday was really special as with a lot of effort and help I actually made it to @ascotracecourse once again.

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“I honestly have to pinch myself that I’ve been well enough each day to do something like this. Another favourite I’d had in mind and a fab milestone to say ‘ain’t dead yet!'”

She continued: “Obviously like most haven’t been for a while due to covid, but so nice to be back and thank you to @ascotracecourse for making the whole experience for me and my brother just seamless and achievable for me. Memories made, but most importantly I got 3 wins in a row and am still bouncing off the ceiling from them still!!!”

Ruth and Eamonn posed with Deborah at the event
Ruth and Eamonn posed with Deborah at the event

Deborah, who has raised more than £6million for Cancer Research UK, wore a pretty navy blue dress with puffy short sleeves and a white frilly Peter Pan collar. She shaded herself from the glorious sunshine with an oversized straw hat and teamed her look with a pair of white studded sandals.

Despite her joy at being able to enjoy time with her brother, she said: “I find myself living in limbo land, not really knowing what the future holds and for how long. It’s a very stressful uncertain place to be because when I was discharge from hospital over a month ago I was given days, maybe a week to live. And I felt like it.

“But as we all know life doesn’t go according to plan, so I’m just grateful for what ever extra time, the powers that be have decided to grant me. So despite the unnerving tears, I look at the sunshine, smile, and think, wow, life is a funny thing isn’t it!! Better enjoy it! #onedayatatime #royalascot #ascot #aintdeadyet”

Deborah at Ascot
Deborah at Ascot

The Dame, who originally said that she would like to die drinking champagne on her parent’s lawn after she was discharged from hospital, has been making her way through a variety of cocktails. She said that she is ‘working her way through’ classic cocktails ‘before I’m gone’.

The campaigner posted a photo of a Sex on the Beach cocktail to her Instagram stories earlier this week. Overlaid text read: “Yes that is Archers! And yes I did grow up as Archers and lemonade being a staple college social drink!

“Todays ‘sundowner’ treat of choice, ‘Sex on the Beach’. Maybe I should just call this working my way through old school cocktails day by day before I’m gone!”

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