Dame Deborah James sends supportive message to Cara Hoofe
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Dame Deborah James made an appearance on Lorraine on Tuesday in a pre-recorded video as she sent a message to guest Cara Hoofe, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 aged 32. She also begged loo roll companies to list bowel cancer symptoms on their packets to help raise awareness of the disease.
Cara pitched the idea of putting signs and symptoms on loo roll packaging to her employer M&S and they said yes.
She explained Dame Deborah had been a huge inspiration to her and signage was also going up in both customer and staff toilets at M&S stores.
Cara explained: “I’m over the moon, I don’t really have words to describe how I feel about M&S, my company doing this to raise awareness around bowel cancer, especially because we’ve got such a huge customer base as well
“I met Deborah in the earlier days of her diagnosis through Bowel Cancer UK, I think one of the first times we met in person was at a carol concert for the charity where she was speaking.
“We’ve kept in contact through messaging throughout our treatment and she’s been a support to me and I really hope I’ve been a support to her as well.
“This whole idea for the loo roll came off the back of how Deborah carries herself in everyday life.”
Cara added: “I’m probably a little more reserved than Deborah and follow processes, and when I submitted the idea, I sat there and thought, ‘She’d just tell me, ‘It’s not good enough. What can we do?’
“I then swiftly got in touch with our chairman and CEOs and tried to create a noise around it and it worked.”
In a surprise video message, Deborah said: “Congratulations, Cara.
“I’m so pleased that you are talking about the hard work you have put in and what you have achieved.
“I know we’ve both gone through bowel cancer and we’ve spoken so many times about getting the signs and symptoms on loo roll.
“But you finally did it. And I am really, really proud of you for doing that. It’s the start of things to come.”
Dame Deborah went on to plead: “I think we should do a big shout out to other companies now saying, like, ‘Where’s your signs and symptoms?’
“Forget about the puppies, I’m bored of the puppies.
“We need actual information signposted on those loo rolls.
“So I’m hoping that lots of other big brands will now go, ‘Yeah, hang on. This makes massive sense. This is what we need to be doing.’
“So I can’t wait to see that happen. And a massive, massive well done to you.”
Dame Deborah’s appearance comes not long after she confirmed she is receiving hospice care at home as her cancer is terminal.
Lorraine airs weekdays on ITV from 9am.
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