The husband of late BBC radio presenter Rachael Bland has revealed that they were trying for a second baby when she was diagnosed with cancer.
Steve Bland, from Cheshire, lost Rachael in September 2018, aged just 40, following a two-year battle with primary triple-negative breast cancer.
The presenter of award-winning podcast You, Me and The Big C, which documented her journey, left behind their three-year-old son Freddie.
And Steve, 38, who has given up his job to become a full-time father to the little boy, has now revealed that Rachael was keen to expand their family so he wouldn’t be an only child.
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Steve Bland, 38, from Cheshire, revealed he and late wife, BBC presenter Rachael Bland, were trying for a sibling for their three-year-old son Freddie when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2016.. They are pictured together a few months after her death in September
The presenter of award-winning podcast You, Me and The Big C, which documented her journey, left behind their three-year-old son Freddie. Rachael is seen with husband Steve and their son Freddie
However the devastating diagnosis came soon after the couple had started trying for a sibling for Freddie.
Speaking to The Sun, Steve said: ‘We were trying for a second baby when Rachael was diagnosed’.
And in a heart-wrenching book due to be released later this month, a memoir written by Rachael to preserve her memory for Freddie, the mother-of-one touches on her pain at leaving him as an only child.
She wrote: ‘I would have loved to have had three children altogether, as I always think there is safety in numbers.
‘And I’m so sorry, Fred, that I wasn’t able to give you a sibling.’
Steve Bland took to Instagram in November to announce he had found a publisher for his late wife and BBC radio presenter Rachael Bland’s memoir, and it would be turned into a book in February
Just six weeks after she passed away, Rachael’s podcast won the Best New Show award at the Audio, Radio and Industry Awards (ARIAs).
Throughout her journey Rachael had been keeping a memoir including letters for her young son to open on milestone days such as his eighteenth birthday.
In November Steve took to Instagram to share a picture of Rachael raising a glass of champagne, revealing her memoir would be published in February 2019.
He wrote: ‘Hi folks, it’s Steve. Just wanted to share some wonderful news with you all.
‘We’re raising a glass to our beautiful girl today because we have found a fantastic publisher for her book.’
Rachael, Steve and Freddie seen inset bottom celebrating Christmas 2017. This was Steve and Freddie’s first Christmas without her after she lost her battle with cancer in September 2018
Alongside friends Deborah James and Lauren Mahon, Bland (seen)documented her cancer from first discovery, to being told it was incurable in May of this year, to finally being warned there were just days left
The show following the trio’s journey won the Best New Show award at Thursday night’s Audio, Radio and Industry Awards (ARIAs)
Expressing his joy and sadness, he added: ‘She worked so so hard on it before she died and while we’re beyond heartbroken that she’ll never get to see it in print, we’re sure the brilliant team at Omara Books will do her proud.
The book will be published by independent publishing house Michael O’Mara Books. Steve concluded: ‘Keep an eye out for it in Feb 2019! Steve’.
Shortly before her death Bland poignantly revealed she had wrapped 18 years worth of birthday presents for three-year-old son Freddie so he had a gift from her until he was 21.
‘Putting the Can in Cancer’: Rachael Bland’s battle with deadly disease
November 22 2016: Rachael Bland is diagnosed with primary triple-negative breast cancer that had spread to four lymph nodes under her right arm
December 28 2016: She begins four and a half months of chemotherapy
May 2017: She has a lumpectomy and auxillary node clearance
July 2017: The mother-of-one undergoes a mastectomy
August 2017: Bland has a re-excision of her lumpectomy and starts 15 sessions of radiotherapy
October 2017: CT and biopsy shows cancer had spread to the lymph nodes under her arm on the opposite side to the primary cancer
May 2018: She is told the cancer is terminal and she has ‘less than a year to live’
September 2018: Bland announces she has just days to live in a poignant social media post. She died today.
The BBC 5 Live newsreader had also built up a collection of handwritten notebooks, perfume and other personal items so the little boy would grow up knowing how his mother wrote, smelled and sounded once she was gone.
Alongside friends Deborah James and Lauren Mahon, Bland documented her cancer from first discovery, to being told it was incurable in May, to finally being warned there were just days left.
She spoke to HuffPost UK before her announcement at the beginning of September which confirmed she only had a few days to live.
In a heartbreaking interview, she said: ‘It is as a mother that I have to employ my strongest skills of denial.
‘I’m too scared to ask the doctors how long I’ve got left – it would be a guesstimate number that would hang over me. So we make plans, knowing it’s not very long.
‘I have a Whatsapp group with Steve’s sister where I send her things I want for Freddie and his future. The things that might overwhelm and upset Steve now but she will make sure happens.
‘The main thing is that, while he’s so young, I want him to remember me in some way.’
Rachael died at the beginning of September aged 40, following an inspirational two-year public battle with cancer.
The mother from Cheshire, who had triple negative breast cancer, moved thousands of people who hailed her bravery and dignity as she fought terminal illness.