Presenter, newsreader, blogger, and co-host of the cancer podcast 'You, Me and the Big C', Rachael Bland, has died aged 40.
Rachael was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago and in April of this year, she was told it was incurable. Rachael leaves behind her husband, BBC journalist, Steve Bland and her three-year-old son, Freddie. Her heartbreaking struggle with cancer has been documented throughout on her blog.
Before she died, Rachael came up with a beautiful way to keep her memory alive for her son. She created a memoir called 'For Freddie' which is made up of poignant reminders of her. The memoir is a collection of stories and advice that your parents might give you throughout your life.
Despite her illness, Rachael was keen to be a part of Freddie's future and has created a Whatsapp group full of ideas and things she wants for her son. For example, not cutting his hair short unless he really wants to or the best possible schools and universities he could attend. She sends the messages to her sister-in-law because she was aware these might be too overwhelming and upsetting for her husband at present.
Rachael has wrapped presents for Freddie's fourth birthday, right up until his twenty-first. She has kept notepads with her writing in, all of his newborn keepsakes and a perfume which he had specifically chosen for her, earlier this year. Rachael was keen to keep her memory alive for her son and to give him constant reassurance of how much she loved him. Rachael previously said, "The main thing is that, while he’s so young, I want him to remember me in some way". She added, "I hope the book and these gifts and notes will leave an imprint of my love behind for the rest of his life".
Our thoughts go out to Rachael's family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.