Rachael Bland dead: Husband Steve pays tribute in emotional statement

Rachel Bland said she had received negative messages from online trolls after describing her cancer battle

Rachel Bland said she had received negative messages from online trolls after describing her cancer battle

The BBC presenter Rachael Bland has died of cancer aged 40, after chronicling her life with the disease on a popular podcast.

Rachael's passing was confirmed on her Twitter page by Steve, in a post reading: 'Our attractive, courageous Rachael died peacefully this morning surrounded by her close family.

Steve signed the post from himself, and his and Rachel's three-year-old son Freddie.

"I have a Whatsapp group with Steve's sister where I send her things I want for Freddie and his future. This is bad. No words, other than love to you and Steve (husband)".

At the end they acknowledge Rachael's podcast 'You, Me & The Big C', which she hosted alongside Deborah James and Lauren Mahon, saying it deserves to be at number one in the charts.

"We all take such huge comfort and pride from the unbelievable 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".

She said on Twitter: 'In the words of the legendary Frank S - I'm afraid the time has come my friends.

Rachael was told her cancer was incurable in April of this year.

Speaking last month, Rachael told the Daily Telegraph: 'I'm not scared of dying. "It's been a real support to know that people have found them so helpful through their treatment, but in a selfish way they've helped me just as much".

'We all take such huge comfort and pride from the incredible 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.

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BBC's cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew, whose own wife Emma was given the all clear after her breast cancer diagnosis, tweeted his thoughts.

"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".

The Health Secretary - and former Culture Secretary - Matt Hancock, said: "So sad to hear Rachael Bland has died".

Rachael's devoted husband Steve issued a statement after her death, saying: 'Rachael's death has left a huge hole in our flawless little family that we'll never be able to fill. She fought so hard and with such dignity.

Her friend and colleague Tony Livesey said: "5 Live's lost one of its brightest spirits".

Bland said she was looking for a publisher for her memoir, which she described as "my love letter to my lovely boy that I hope will leave the imprint of me and my love for him around him forever". "Sending all my love to her family right now".

She will be hugely missed by her many listeners and by staff across the BBC.

Bland's Radio 5 colleague Richard Bacon also offered support on Twitter, writing: "Days".

The station broadcast a special tribute to Rachael, playing clips from her podcast along with interviews with her family and friends.

She said: "We still had some hope of holding back the tide for a while, but no one survives metastatic breast cancer long term".

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