Rachael Bland: BBC presenter's touching memoir for son

Rachael Bland wanted her two-year-old son to learn about her life in her own words

Sabrina Barr
Wednesday 05 September 2018 12:40
BBC presenter Rachael Bland who has terminal cancer discusses finding her lump

Today Rachael Bland's family announced that the BBC presenter had passed away following a two-year struggle with breast cancer.

Bland, a news presenter who worked at the BBC for more than 15 years, wrote a heartfelt memoir for her son following her terminal cancer diagnosis.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2016, before undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy, a lumpectomy and a mastectomy.

Earlier this year Bland found out that the cancer was incurable, which is why she decided to write a memoir for her two-year-old son so he can learn about her life as he grows up.

“I’m writing it for him as an adult, to come back to through his life,” she told The Times.

“He’s not really at an age where he’s going to remember very much about me.

“I just wanted to get everything down in my words so he gets a sense of who I am, my sense of humour.”

She titled the memoir For Fred, named after her son with husband and former BBC journalist Steve Bland.

Bland expressed on Twitter earlier this month that she had been on the lookout for a publisher.

“I’ve started my ‘memoir’ for Freddie so he can know me/my take on all the imp moments in my life,” she wrote.

“Anyone want to publish it so I don’t have to worry about him being short of a copy?”

In the memoir, she gave her son advice on a variety of topics such as finding happiness, forging a career and anecdotes such as when she first met her husband.

“Laughing is good for your very soul,” she wrote in the memoir about happiness. “I hope you laugh as much in the future as you do now.

“You currently find yourself and other things so funny that you laugh until you’re sick.

“I love to see you this happy and discovering your own sense of humour. Always keep that.”

Rachael Bland ran an online blog called Big C. Little Me., where she regularly blogged and vlogged about her cancer treatment.

She also co-presented a podcast on the BBC alongside Deborah James and Lauren Mahon, called You, Me and the Big C, about their experiences with cancer.

“With the podcast, we’re trying to get the conversation going about cancer and try to make people less scared of it,” she said.

“Even in this awful situation, facing a terminal diagnosis, good things can still come of it, and you can still live and enjoy life.”

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