BBC presenter Rachael Bland spent the last two years of her life working to help others cope with cancer.
On Wednesday, Bland’s family shared a heartbreaking tweet via her account, announcing she’d passed away from breast cancer at age 40.
“Our beautiful, courageous Rachael died peacefully this morning surrounded by her close family,” they wrote and shared a photo of Bland with her partner, Steve.
“We are crushed but she would want me to thank everyone who took an interest in her story or sent messages of support,” wrote Steve. “You’ll never know how much they meant to her.”
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
The news of Bland passing away comes only two days after she shared in a tweet that she only had days left to live.
“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,” Bland wrote. “Au revoir my friends.”
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. Debs and lozz will continue with the #youmebigc podcast. Au revoir my friends. 💋💋 pic.twitter.com/DhMurbqMJz
— Rachael Bland (@Rachael_Hodges) September 3, 2018
In reaction to Bland’s announcement, the London Underground posted a moving poem by the artist duo @allontheboard. The poem was a tribute to Bland and her efforts to normalise talking about cancer and death.
“Nothing in life is certain, only we all face a final curtain,” reads the sign. “We are inspired by you and as your next adventure begins, please know you have changed the nation’s conversation with you story and inspiration. In every cancer battle it’s always love that wins.”
For the incredibly courageous & inspirational @Rachael_Hodges & her family. Love @allontheboard x
Please listen to the podcast #YouMeBigC by Rachael, Lauren Mahon & @bowelbabe link in the comments.#RachelBland #cancerwarrior #Cancer #cancerawareness #beatcancer #noonefightsalone pic.twitter.com/Caejlzajnx
— All on the board (@allontheboard) September 4, 2018
On August 3, Bland shared on Instagram that she had been ruled out of further clinical trials. She added that she wanted to spend the remainder of her time finishing her memoir For Freddie — a book of life advice for her three-year-old son.
Another bump in the road. Whilst I was concentrating on my lungs my liver was busy throwing a 🔧 in the works. An enzyme called ALT has been steadily on the rise since I started trials. It is a sign of liver damage and right now it rules me out of any further trials. So we’re chucking everything at it. Change of steroid. No alcohol and liver detox diet. And hoping those numbers start going down again. This just got serious. Game face on. It’s now a real race against time for me to finish my book ‘For Freddie’. If you need me, you’ll find me typing and drinking gallons of water! #stage4problems #cancer #MBC #cancerwhackamole #notdeadyet #ALT #livermets #thechristie #clinicaltrials #advancedcancer #reversedalailama #readmylips #gameface #writing #memoir #detoxifying
In a blog post in Huffington Post, Bland explained that she had wrapped up presents for her son for him to open every year on his birthday until he turns 21.
“I hope the book and these gifts and notes will leave an imprint of my love behind for the rest of his life,” she wrote.
Rest in peace, Rachael.