Rachael Bland - Thank You.

Lucy Donoughue
By Lucy Donoughue,
updated on Sep 7, 2018

Rachael Bland - Thank You.

Happiful celebrates broadcaster, blogger and creator of chart-topping You, Me and the Big C podcast, Rachael Bland

Yesterday, Rachael Bland’s husband announced that Rachael had died, surrounded by her family. Rachael had been in treatment for breast cancer since her diagnosis in 2016, during which time she had elevated the conversation around the disease and earlier this year launched the now chart-topping You, Me and the Big C podcast along with friends Deborah James and Lauren Mahon.

Rachael wanted to get people talking about cancer, to share their experiences and find support, and she achieved that and much more.

Earlier this week, Rachael had posted on instagram that she had just days to live, a post that was met by an outpouring of love and thanks for everything Rachael had championed in her lifetime.

A number of tributes to Rachael's work and generousity appeared and You, Me and the Big C podcast shot to the top of the charts - a great ambition of Rachael's now realised.

Following Rachael's death, her close friends and co-hosts of You, Me and the Big C have penned tributes to her. Deborah James dedicated her column for The Sun Things Cancer Made Me Say, to Rachael, explaining how she had reached out to Deborah when she heard of Deborah's own diagnosis and helped her to to make sense of what was happening.

Deborah wrote: "We needed to find strength from somewhere. It turned out to be in each other, and the countless others going through this too - the community we became a part of.

"We pledged to turn the crap into a positive, it became our coping strategy. Now, it's your legacy. You wanted to get people talking. Talking about cancer - normalising the conversation around this b****** disease. With your sheer grit and determination we made it happen."

She continued: "You had an idea that most people laughed at, 'who wants to listen to a podcast about cancer?', they said. Radio 5 Live gave us a shot, thanks to you...and You, Me And The Big C was born. I know right now you'll be having the last laugh, knowing your mission to get people talking has started.

"And we realised your dream, the podcast made it to number one. I know you died knowing this, and I know how happy it would've made you."

Deborah finished the piece by adding: "You will always be in our hearts. I am so proud to call you one of my besties."

View this post on Instagram

My darling Rachael - you came into my life in the darkest of times and you helped me find light. Together we laughed in the face of Cancer, and created something amazing with the brilliant crew that is @girlstolelondon @mikerholt12 @alenty and @bbc5live. It has helped so many others and for which you should be incredibly proud. I am - I’m proud to call you my friend and to have been part of this incredible experience with you. : Today I got the message I was hoping not to get - and yet somehow I’m at peace knowing you are at peace. I cried and I went to the most beautiful spot in Richmond hill. I sat there and I wrote a letter to you. : Please read it. (Bio and link below). Rachael I love you and it breaks my heart that as I write with tears, thinking of you, Steve and Freddie - all I really want is to text you the most brilliant death joke I can find! : Always and forever. Thank you. Deborah x : : #youmebigc @fabulousmag @thesun #pleaseshare #iloveyou #fuckyoucancer #cancer #rachaelbland #radio5live

A post shared by Deborah James (@bowelbabe) on

Lauren Mahon, who hosted You, Me and The Big C alongside Deborah and Rachael, wrote on instagram "Rachael Bland. Bloody hell babygirl. A woman of sheer class, courage + kick ass humour. It has been an honour to share oxygen with you. Humble AF. Did you ever know how truly special you are?

"I hope so mate. Probs should have said this more but you’re my role model.
The legacy you have left behind is a thing to behold. You’ve changed so many lives for the better. Including mine."

View this post on Instagram

My Girl 💕 Rachael Bland. Bloody Hell Babygirl. A Woman Of Sheer Class, Courage + Kick Ass Humour. It Has Been An Honour To Share Oxygen With You. Humble AF. Did You Ever Know How Truly Special You Are? I Hope So Mate. Probs Should Have Said This More But You’re My Role Model. The Legacy You Have Left Behind Is A Thing To Behold. You’ve Changed So Many Lives For The Better. Including Mine. You Changed My Life Rach. And I’ll Carry You In My Heart For The Rest Of It. I’ll Love You Forever. Be Proud Of You For Always. The World Is Darker Today My Bubs. But Your Light? That Will Continue To Shine Brighter Than Ever. Steve, Freddie + Family We Love You. We’ve Got You. I’m So Sorry.

A post shared by GIRLvsCANCER (@girlvscancer) on

Everyone at Happiful would like to echo the sentiments of those who have thanked Rachael and wish to celebrate all that she was and everything she achieved in her lifetime.

Our thoughts are with her husband Steve, son Freddie and all her friends and family.

You can now listen to a You, Me and The Big C podcast, dedicated to Rachael.

Lead image courtesy of BBC

Find out more information about living with cancer and also checking for breast cancer.

If you would like to speak to a counsellor in your local area about living with cancer or bereavement, find support on Counselling Directory.

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