Husband of late BBC presenter to share experiences at wellness event

Date: 30 Aug 2019

The husband of BBC presenter Rachael Bland will be at the wellness event of the year to share his experiences of the last 12 months since she died from breast cancer.

Rachael died on 5 September last year, two years after being diagnosed with incurable breast cancer.

She was part of the award-winning podcast You, Me and the Big C, when her and co-hosts Lauren Mahon and Deborah James discussed their own experiences of cancer.

Steve Bland will join a host of inspirational speakers at the Being Well Festival at Ricoh Arena on Thursday 24 October which aims to promote happier, healthier lives by educating people about their health and general wellness.

As the first anniversary of his wife’s death approaches, he said: “I miss Rachael every day. Since she died, we have had our wedding anniversary, her birthday in January, Christmas and Valentine’s Day so dates are always coming up that are going to have extra poignancy.

“When September 5 arrives, I will cross that bridge when I come to it and not worry too much in the days leading up to it about how certain things are going to feel. I won’t be overthinking it too much.”

Steve has been invited to speak at the Being Well Festival by BBC Midlands Today presenter Mary Rhodes, who is Chair of the Breast Cancer Haven Development Board, and he believes it is important to carry on Rachael’s work.

“When Rachael died there was interest in her story and I took the decision that I didn’t want all the great work she had done to no longer have an impact because I would have felt really bad,” he said.

“She did so many amazing things to change the narrative around cancer, death and serious illness and I felt I had a responsibility to carry it on because people really responded to her story.

“When Mary got in touch, I thought the festival seemed like a great, positive event and I’m looking forward to getting involved.”

Steve is also working on future editions of the podcast You, Me and the Big C which will soon be released.

He added: “I helped Rachael to put it together when she first had the idea of the podcast last year because I was a producer at BBC Radio 5 Live and she was a presenter there.

“I joined Lauren and Deborah last November on an episode to talk about how I was getting on and we had a great deal of positive feedback from listeners saying why didn’t I get involved permanently.

“I get on really well with Lauren and Deborah and I think I have brought a different perspective and it seems to work.”

The Being Well event will give visitors the opportunity to shop at a ‘wellbeing marketplace’, take part in activities and taster sessions, receive one-to-one advice on health and wellbeing and attend a special ticketed lunch.

Breast Cancer Haven, which will benefit from funds raised throughout the day, operates from seven locations across the UK and provides emotional, physical and practical support for anyone affected by breast cancer including one-to-one therapy and counselling for family and friends.