Rachael Bland death: BBC radio presenter dies after suffering from breast cancer, aged 40

The presenter was rushing to complete a memoir for her two-year-old son

Jack Shepherd
Wednesday 05 September 2018 12:07
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BBC presenter Rachael Bland who has terminal cancer discusses finding her lump

BBC radio presenter Rachael Bland has died after suffering from breast cancer, aged 40.

A statement posted on her twitter account said: “Our beautiful, courageous Rachael died peacefully this morning surrounded by her close family.

“We are crushed but she would want me to thank everyone who took an interest in her story or sent messages of support. You’ll never know how much they meant to her. Steve and Freddie xxx.”

Bland was married to her husband, Steve, for almost five years and recently said she was rushing to complete a memoir for her two-year-old son, Freddie.

She was initially diagnosed with primary triple negative breast cancer in November 2016 and has been documenting the process of dealing with the disease on the podcast You, Me and the Big C, which has the tagline “putting the can in cancer”.

The Radio 5 Live broadcaster was told her cancer was incurable in May this year and revealed on the 3 August she had been ruled out of clinical trials due to medical complications.

Paying tribute to Bland, husband Steve called her an “an incredibly talented broadcaster” as well as a “wonderful and much loved daughter, sister, aunt, niece, wife and, most importantly to her, a mother to her precious little Freddie”.

He continued: “We all take such huge comfort and pride from the amazing and tireless work she has done since her diagnosis to reduce the stigma around cancer and prove that it is possible to live life to the fullest even when facing huge challenges on a daily basis. At the end, even though her body was at its weakest, her voice was at its strongest and most powerful.”

Controller of Radio 5 Live, Jonathan Wall, also issued a statement following Bland’s death: “Today is a very sad day for all of us and so many of our listeners. She was a very talented broadcaster and a beautiful loyal colleague to so many. We are all so proud at what she achieved – a truly heroic broadcaster and lovely wife, daughter and mum.”

Earlier this week, Bland announced that she only had “days to live”.

“In the words of the legendary Frank S – I’m afraid the time has come my friends,” she later wrote on Twitter. “And suddenly. I’m told I’ve only got days. It’s very surreal... Au revoir my friends.”

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Her co-hosts Deborah James and Lauren Mahon will continue presenting You, Me and the Big C.

An essay written by Bland was published yesterday in which she thanked supporters while also pointing out the online harassment she has received since revealing her diagnosis.

“I was sent so many beautiful messages along with many telling me to go to foreign climes to try miracle cancer treatment – FYI these all get deleted immediately,” she wrote for The Huffington Post.

There were even some berating me for not trying hard enough to save myself. But I am 100% per cent behind modern medicine and have enrolled on a clinical trial.”

Bland had been working on a memoir, titled For Freddie, which was being written so her son could know about her life.

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