BBC presenter Rachael Bland has died at the age of 40, almost two years after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Bland was a familiar voice on Radio 5 Live as a newsreader and presenter. She has also documented her life with the disease on an award-winning blog.
Following the announcement of her demise, Rachael’s husband Steve said in a statement:
“She was 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.
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.” He describes her as “perfect in every way”, adding “we will miss her more than words can say”.
Bland’s death comes two days after she revealed on Twitter that doctors had given her only days left to live. She tweeted: “In the words of the legendary Frank S – I’m afraid the time has come my friends. And suddenly. I’m told I’ve only got days. It’s very surreal. Thank you so much for all the support I’ve received.”
She began her BBC career more than 15 years ago as Rachael Hodges and married fellow BBC journalist Steve Bland in 2013. As well as appearing on 5 Live, she worked as a news presenter on the BBC News Channel, BBC World and BBC North West Tonight. She was diagnosed with primary triple-negative breast cancer in November 2016 after finding a lump under her arm.