Just days after telling friends and family she had days to live, BBC news presenter Rachael Bland has died.
The star, who was just 40, passed away after being diagnosed with incurable cancer. Her heartbroken family took to her Twitter page to break the devastating news with fans of the BBC Radio 5 Live news reader.
“Our beautiful, courageous Rachael died peacefully this morning surrounded by her close family,” a post read. “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”.
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 pic.twitter.com/soq7YHvF9u
— Rachael Bland (@Rachael_Hodges) September 5, 2018
On Instagram, the family explained how proud they were of Bland.
“We’ll miss her so very much but we couldn’t be prouder of what she achieved in her 40 years, and we are genuinely comforted by the impact we know she had on so many lives,” a message read.
The news was also confirmed by BBC Radio 5 Live.
“Mother to Freddie. Wife to Steve. Our treasured colleague Rachael Bland has died,” a message read. “She inspired so many with her blogs, the chart-topping podcast #YouMeBigC and certainly put the can in cancer. We will miss her dearly.”
Before her tragic death, Bland had been sharing every stage of her brave cancer journey with her fans from day one, giving heartbreaking updates through each of her hospital appointments and treatments. Earlier this week, she sadly shocked her fans and followers by revealing she had just days to live. After discovering the news, Bland decided to take inspiration from the late Frank Sinatra and say one final goodbye. Posting the words with a beautiful photo of her with her devoted husband Steve, it was a chance for Bland to say goodbye on her terms.
“In the words of the legendary Frank S – I’m afraid the time has come my friends,” the 40-year-old mum wrote. “And suddenly. I’m told I’ve only got days. It’s very surreal. Thank you so very very much for all your support I’ve received along the way. @bowelbabe and @girlvscancer will continue with the podcast.” She finished the message by writing: “Obviously I cant get round to all of your messages but I’ll do my very best to read them all. #cancer #fucancer #goodbye.”
The star had originally been diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2016, and has been documenting her journey ever since on her popular blog ‘Big C little me’, as well as starring as a co-host on the podcast ‘You, Me and the Big C’. She underwent chemotherapy last year as well as lymph node surgery in February, but biopsies revealed her cancer was incurable.
Tragically, she was out with her three-year-old son Freddie when she got the call informing her the cancer was incurable.
“I watched my little Freddie innocently playing away in a tyre in the barn and my heart broke for him,” she wrote on Instagram at the time. “I scooped him up and dashed home and then had to break Steve’s heart with the news that my cancer was now metastatic and therefore incurable.”