Rachael Bland 'Big C': BBC presenter’s touching memoir for son published posthumously

Sabrina Barr

The memoir BBC presenter Rachael Bland wrote for her son has been published posthumously, following her death in September 2018.

In November 2016, Bland was diagnosed with breast cancer.

After undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy, a lumpectomy and a mastectomy, she was informed in 2018 that the cancer had become incurable.

Following the news of her terminal cancer diagnosis, Bland decided to write a memoir for her three-year-old son, Freddie.

Titled For Freddie: A Mother's Final Gift to Her Son, the book will be made available to purchase on Thursday 21 February by Michael O'Mara Books.

Bland wrote the memoir in order to paint a picture of her life for her son, while also providing him with practical life advice on topics such as finding happiness and achieving a successful career.

“My beautiful son, I so wish that I didn't have to leave you now. But believe me, I tried EVERYTHING I could to stay around for you, and for every moment I could eke out of this life,” Bland wrote in the book.

“From the outset, it was not a fair fight. My cancer was too big, and too aggressive, and we didn't start on a level playing field.”

The book also includes contributions from several of Bland’s peers, including TV and radio presenter Richard Bacon, broadcaster Emma Barnett and radio presenter Shelagh Fogarty.

Bland was one of the co-founders of a podcast called You, Me and the Big C, which she ran alongside co-hosts Deborah James and Lauren Mahon.

The three women would speak about their experiences of being diagnosed with cancer on the podcast.

“With the podcast, we’re trying to get the conversation going about cancer and try to make people less scared of it,” Bland told The Times in 2018.

“Even in this awful situation, facing a terminal diagnosis, good things can still come of it, and you can still live and enjoy life.”

Bland also ran an online blog called Big C. Little Me., where she would blog and vlog about her cancer treatment.

For Freddie: A Mother's Final Gift to Her Son is available to pre-order for £16.99.