Deborah James

How to Live When You Could Be Dead
  • How to Live When You Could Be Dead

  • 'Deborah James has captured the heart of the nation' - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge @KensingtonRoyal

    'Brave, bright, beautiful' - Lorraine Kelly

    'Deborah's ability to find positivity in the darkest of places is an inspiration to us all' - Davina McCall

    I'm alive when I should be dead. In another movie, I missed the sliding door and departed this wondrous life long ago. Like so many others, I've had to learn to live not knowing if I have a tomorrow, because, statistically, I shouldn't have. At the age of 35, I was blindsided by incurable bowel cancer - I was given a less than 8% chance of surviving five years. More than five years later, my only option is to live in the now and to value one day at a time.


    So how do you flip your mind from a negative spiral into realistic and rebellious hope? How do you stop focusing on the why and realise that 'why not me' is just as valid a question? How we learn to respond to any given situation empowers us or destroys us. We have the ability in our minds to dictate our own outcomes - bad or good - and with the right skills and approach, we can be the master of our lives.

    How to Live When You Could Be Dead will show you how. It will awaken you to question your life as if you didn't have a tomorrow and live it in the way you want to today. It will show you how to build a positive mindset and, through this, invite you to think about what you could do if you believed you could do anything you want.

    Ebury, a division of Penguin Random House, will pay £3 from the sale of each copy of How To Live When You Could Be Dead by Deborah James sold in the UK to Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK.
    Cancer Research UK is a charity registered in England and Wales (1089464), Scotland (SC041666), Isle of Man (1103) and Jersey (247).

Deborah James worked in education for 15 years as a deputy head teacher, where she led national research into growth mindsets in schools. At the age of 35, life with her young children and husband was thrown upside down when she was diagnosed with stage 4, incurable bowel cancer. She responded by starting a blog, 'bowel babe', which became the award-winning, weekly column in the Sun online, 'Things Cancer Made Me Say'. Over the five years that followed, she campaigned tirelessly for better awareness and funding for bowel cancer, cheered on by over 700k followers on Instagram (@bowelbabe), and presented chart-topping podcasts 'You, Me and the Big C' for BBC's Radio 5 Live and 'The Good Stuff', which she hosted with her children. In May 2022, Deborah was personally awarded a damehood by the Duke of Cambridge, after she and her family announced Bowelbabe Fund and raised more than £6 million for Cancer Research UK within a week.

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