UK

BBC presenter Rachael Bland says she has only days to live

Rachael Bland
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BBC Radio 5 Live news presenter Rachael Bland, who has incurable cancer, has revealed on social media that she has "only got days" to live.

The 40-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2016.

Last month she said she was in a "race against time" to publish a memoir for her two-year-old son, Freddie, and believed she had "less than a year".

Newsreader Bland co-hosts the You, Me and the Big C podcast with Deborah James and Lauren Mahon.

Writing on Twitter on Monday, she said the pair would continue to present the podcast.

She tweeted: "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."

Cardiff-born Bland, who lives in Cheshire, was told in May this year that her cancer was incurable and she said her hopes rested with a clinical trial.

But two months on, a scan revealed her cancer had spread further.

Former BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Richard Bacon was among those to send their support to Bland on social media.

He tweeted: "Days. Devastating. Rachael I know saying I'm thinking of you (and our magnificent time together on air, especially all that late night fun) doesn't change anything.

"But I am and I'm so very sorry. Your podcast has helped change the way people talk about all this. You're wonderful."

Image copyright Rachael Bland
Image caption Rachael Bland with her husband Steve

Fellow 5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell told her: "You are an astonishing human being. Love to all."

Tony Livesey, who presents 5 Live Drive, wrote on Twitter: "So much courage. To the lady who held my hand when I started on @bbc5live I want her to know we're all spiritually holding hers right now."

Other colleagues also shared their support on Twitter:

BBC presenter Victoria Derbyshire, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, told Bland: "Courage, grace, laughter - that's you. You are amazing."

Good Morning Britain's Susanna Reid said: "Oh Rachael. You have so much courage. You are loved beyond measure by people you haven't even met because of the way you have dealt with this."

Presenter and four-time Olympic rowing champion Matthew Pinsent posted: "Bravery, professionalism, humour in one tweet."

And BBC Breakfast's Steph McGovern told Bland: "I am so gutted for you and your family.

"The podcast has clearly helped so many people and you did it with such style, humour and bloody brilliance. Thank you for everything you have done."

Image copyright Claire Wood
Image caption Rachael Bland hosts the podcast You, Me and the Big C with Lauren Mahon and Deborah James

Bland, who was previously known by her maiden name, Hodges, has been a BBC news presenter for more than 15 years, most recently for Radio 5 Live.

Her breast cancer has metastasised, where the cancer cells have spread from the primary cancer in the breast through the lymphatic or blood system to other parts of the body.

She has been writing a memoir for her two-year-old son Freddie, to share "all the stories and advice I would have given... but won't be around to do in person".

"I'm not scared of dying. I only fear for those I leave behind," she wrote in the Sunday Telegraph last month.

Her podcast, You, Me and the Big C aims to take "a candid look at cancer".

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