‘I’m afraid the time has come my friends...’
Newsreader Rachael Bland sadly lost her battle with breast cancer last week. But she’s left a legacy for her son that will last forever
Radio 5 Live R presenter Rachael Bland revealed that she had just days left to live in a heart-rending Twitter post last week. She wrote, “I’m afraid the time has come my friends. And suddenly. It’s very surreal. Thank you so much for all the support I’ve received.” Tragically, just 48 hours later, Rachael passed away.
Since being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer two years ago, the 40 year old had documented her journey on her blog and in the chart-topping podcast You, Me & The Big C.
She revealed that it was in April this year, while out with her three-year-old son Freddie, that she received the call confirming the worst – her cancer had spread to the skin and was incurable.
Rachael, who lived in Cheshire with her husband, Steve, 38, came up with a plan to ensure that, even if she couldn’t be with Freddie in the future, the memory of her would be. She began writing a memoir called For Fred – full of stories and advice for him as he grows up, and she also left her son special gifts. “Personal effects – like my notepads, so he can see what my writing is like. Or the perfume he helped pick out for me earlier this year so he’ll remember my smell. And his all-important box of newborn keepsakes,” she said.
Rachael also set up a Whatsapp group with her sister-in-law, listing the things she wants for Freddie as he gets older. “Like not cutting his hair too short until he really insists, or my wish for him to go to the very best school and university possible, so long as that’s what he wants,” she said. “I’m also planning and wrapping birthday presents, which he can open between the ages of four and 21.”
But most of all, Rachael wanted her little boy to know how loved he was. She said, “I hope the book and these gifts and notes will leave an imprint of my love behind for the rest of his life. So he can be sure how very much I love him.”
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With husband Steve and their son Freddie