Bowel-cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James, who died last June, has been named the Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons 2022 Celebrity Hero.
With days to live Dame Deborah, 40, raised an incredible £6million for her Bowelbabe Fund and selflessly continued to raise awareness of the cruel disease.
Following her death there was a tenfold increase – from 2,000 to 23,200 in one week – to the NHS bowel cancer web pages.
Her father Alistair, who accepted the award, said: “Deborah was passionate in making her voice heard, sometimes quite loudly to break down the taboos and barriers over bowel cancer, and to make people talk about it openly and honestly without embarrassment.
“In her final weeks Deborah achieved many things but I think the most important was the establishment of the BowelBabe Fund with Cancer Research UK. This will be her ongoing legacy.”
Diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2016 Dame Deborah joined two other cancer patients on BBC Radio 5 Live to start the BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C.
Fellow 5 Live presenter Rachel Burden, who hosted the Amplifon awards, said: “Deborah was such a big part of the 5 Live family and we are all so proud of having been part of her beautiful life.”
The Queen broke protocol when she made the former mother-of-two a dame in her June Birthday Honours – usually damehoods are reserved for the New Year’s List. Also, it was the first time Amplifon had made a posthumous award.
Five-year-old Albie-Junior Thomas won the Overall Champion and Young Hero award.
Albie, from Holywell, North Wales, is the youngest child to have climbed Snowdon despite having his left leg amputated when he was only one year old after being born without the femur bone on his left leg.
Judges said: “Albie’s achievements and his determination throughout his so far short life have been a massive inspiration to all children who suffer a disability.”
Other awards went to:
Active Agers: Basil Smith, of Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, who at the age of 101 still plays tennis three times a week and exercises for 90 minutes every day.
Against All Odds: Former Paras captain Martin Hewitt, 42, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, who was the first disabled person to reach the South Pole. Martin lost the use of his right arm after being shot in Afghanistan.
Charity Champion: Lifeguard and former teacher Brendon Prince, 48, of Torquay, Devon, who broke the world record paddleboarding around the coast of Britain to raise awareness of water-safety – raising thousands of pounds for linked charities in the process.
Hero Pet: Police dog Kaiser, who despite being stabbed five times in the head by a knifeman, held onto the villain preventing his handler PC Mark Woolcott and other officers from being injured in the late-night incident in Orpington, Kent.
Act Of Courage: Student Amelie Osborn-Smith, 18, of Andover, Hampshire, who after surviving a ferocious crocodile attack on the Zambezi River went on over the next 12 months to raise money and project manage the building of a school in an African village as part of her healing process.
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