Dame Deborah James told children to ‘take chances and experience life now’ in letter to her family

Dame Deborah James told her children to ‘take chances and experience life now’ and to marry for love in touching final letter to her family before the £7million bowel cancer campaigner died aged 40

Dame Deborah James told her children telling them to ‘take a chance and back yourself’ and asked them to experience life now instead of waiting until they were older, in a final piece of advice.

The charity fundraiser and podcast star shared her life lessons in her new book How To Live When You Could Be Dead.

James, who died in June after a five-year battle with cancer during which time she raised over seven million pounds for charity, is survived by her husband Sebastian and two children, 14-year-old Hugo and 12-year-old Eloise.

‘Take a chance and back yourself. Remember to be your number one cheerleader,’ she told them in a passage from her book seen by The Sun, set to be released on August 18.

‘Don’t leave the world and all it has to offer until retirement — experience it now.’

Dame Deborah James told her children telling them to ‘take a chance and back yourself’ and asked them to experience life now instead of waiting until they were older, in a final piece of advice written in the upcoming book How To Live When You Could Be Dead

Deborah knew she would marry her husband after their third date, she said, telling her children she fancied Sebastian from the day they first met

Deborah knew she would marry her husband after their third date, she said, telling her children she fancied Sebastian from the day they first met

Deborah is pictured in hospital during her final hours where smiles and holds her thumb up in a final farewell from hospital, maintaining her positive spirit until the end

Deborah is pictured in hospital during her final hours where smiles and holds her thumb up in a final farewell from hospital, maintaining her positive spirit until the end

She reflected on how one could know true love in the chapter dedicated to her children.

Deborah knew she would marry her husband after their third date, she said, telling her children she fancied Sebastian from the day they first met.

He wasn’t perfect, she told them, but he respected the former deputy head teacher and never let her wrap him around her little finger.

She still thought he was always the most attractive man in the room 18 years later, she said.

Their marriage didn’t happen without work, she said.

One of the things she had learned is that there are many ways to parent, she said, adding that as long as there is love nothing else truly matters.

Life doesn’t always go according to plan, she said. But life is sometimes more interesting when you go off-piste.

She also told them to buy a dog, writing that it was one of the best decisions she ever made.

‘Take time out,’ she told them. ‘Relaxing isn’t an indulgence — it’s a form of refilling ourselves. None of us can drink from empty cups.’

Doing one thing every day that makes you happy is important, she said. And never criticise others for the things that make them happy.  

‘We are given 86,400 seconds every day, and we each choose how to use them,’ she concluded.

James's book overtook Richard Osman's mystery novel on Amazon in pre-orders on May 19 after she announced Peguing had moved up their timeline so it could be published in August

James’s book overtook Richard Osman’s mystery novel on Amazon in pre-orders on May 19 after she announced Peguing had moved up their timeline so it could be published in August 

‘It is only as they begin to slip away from us that we understand the value of each and every one of those seconds.

‘So, my greatest advice to you is that you can do whatever you want with those seconds. You can use them however you want.

‘The choice is yours, but the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. 

‘Do you believe in yours?’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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