Inspiring Women: Rachael Bland
Hearing her story makes you think that there is definitely more to life than your new outfit not looking the way you planned, or the row you had with your boyfriend over whose turn it is to do the dishes.
Words by Jess Morcom
You may have seen in the news a few weeks ago about the tragic passing of Radio 5 Live broadcaster Rachael Bland. Her story, although it had the most dreadful ending, is one of sincerity and courage. An inspiration to women everywhere, Rachael used her last years on earth to make such a positive impact on the world, which is why my piece is dedicated to her today.
When she was first diagnosed in 2016 she continued to present Radio 5 live, where most would have been shattered by the news. This then developed into her own blog, and the famous podcast ‘You, Me and the Big C’ which she presented with two fellow colleagues and cancer sufferers, Deborah James and Lauren Mahon. Having taken the time to listen to parts of the podcasts myself, they were and still are flying in the iTunes charts (and rightly so), I came away with a slightly different outlook on life. As a young female who has in the past lost family members to cancer, I have always worried about the future and whether I will live long enough to see a cure to this terrible disease, or whether it will take another loved one before that happens. “You Me and the Big C” confronts the fear head on, and the ladies do an amazing job at discussing their fears and offering advice to fellow sufferers. Sharing their light with the general public during such a dark time for each of them is something that should be highly admired and I’m sure has impacted the lives of many cancer sufferers across the country who could be struggling to accept their diagnosis.
When I first heard that she had posted to her twitter page to say that she had been informed of having just days left to live my heart broke for her. What a cruel world we live in sometimes. “Au Revoir” was the message she left to her twitter followers, not once a cry for sympathy or broadcasting a thought of “why me”, when really, if most of us were in her shoes this is probably all we would be thinking to ourselves. It just makes no sense to me why a talented woman with a young family and such a positive outlook on life should be taken in this way.
It was then it hit me that in a digital world where we look up to social media models, that someone like Rachael is an example of the courageous woman that we should really be admiring. Hearing her story makes you think that there is definitely more to life than your new outfit not looking the way you planned, or the row you had with your boyfriend over whose turn it is to do the dishes. At any time your entire world can change, so it’s important to live every day to the fullest before your time is up. We should focus on what really matters.
Even though Rachael is gone, I don’t doubt that her thousands of followers, fans of her podcast and regulars that tune into 5 live will miss her greatly. Not just for the person she was but for the inspiring message and the legacy she has left behind.