‘I Remain Strong And Positive’

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Gareth O’Callaghan: broadcaster, writer and mental health & justice campaigner

‘This is the post I’d always hoped I would never have to write. Many of you have already been reading about my situation this weekend. Unfortunately it is true. I have been diagnosed with a neurodegenerative illness called Multiple System Atrophy.

It is a rare disease, very progessive and sadly incurable. I thought I might have been able to continue working as normal for another few months but unfortunately the pace and the painful decline of this awful thing has really taken us by surprise. I am absolutely devastated by what is happening to me and of all that lies ahead.

Despite all that is going on I remain strong and positive. I’m learning to take life a day at a time now. I’ve always said that life is only a short journey, and that is true – whether you are lucky enough to remain healthy throughout; or you suddenly find you are unexpectedly challenged by something you never thought would happen to you: something that terrifies you and challenges you at every level of your being. I now find myself facing those challenges.

I will miss being with you on the radio. It’s something I thought I would always be doing for many years to come. But none of us knows what’s waiting around the next corner. Unfortunately my voice is now slowly deteriorating because of the MSA – one of the many side effects of this disgusting relentless disease. So I’ve had to make the decision to ease back now.

Time to change direction now and concentrate on doing the little things I’ve always wanted to do but could never find the time to do them. I intend to fight this disease for as long as I can; and to remain as healthy and as fit as I possibly can. I will write more here later. And of course I will keep on writing because that’s what I’ve always loved doing. Chat to you later.’

A Facebook posting from Gareth O’Callaghan, of Classiic Hits 4fm, and formerly with RTÉ 2fm, this morning.

Gareth O’Callaghan (Facebook)

Previously: Protected On Both Sides

The World That Philip Cairns Felt So Threatened By Is Becoming Clearer’

Thanks Garthicus

17 thoughts on “‘I Remain Strong And Positive’

  1. Slightly Bemused

    I was very sorry to hear that we would be losing the wonderful talent that is Gareth O’Callaghan on airwaves, but it is much more important that he put us aside and thinks now of his own health. I admire his strength in being open about this: not so many years ago this would never be mentioned.

    Best of luck to you, Gareth, and I wish you and your family all the best now and into the future.

  2. Janet, I ate my avatar

    A very moving statement, makes you really stop and take stock, thank you.
    All my best to this brave man and his family for the difficult time ahead.

  3. Bravo

    I remember back in the late 90’s when he used to be on 2FM it was great to hear his upbeat tones at a time when secondary school was hell and everyday I was facing homophobic bullying. He always had great nuggets of life advice thrown in here and there. Thanks Gareth for keeping up the good vibes during that tough time. (I’ll send him a message somewhere in case he doesn’t read this).

  4. H

    Absolutely devastating for him, I can’t imagine what he is going through. I hope he stays healthy for as long as possible and it goes as well as possible for him.

  5. Dermie

    I actually remember listening to Gareth on 2fm in the nineties when he first introduced Mrs Brown as a 15 minute segment that became a regular slot on his show. Was a really big fan of Gareth then so extremely sad to hear this news. I do hope that he does see all these comments and realize the impact he had on a lot of people…

  6. Not on your Nelly Too

    You kind of just go about life, not really thinking about it ending. What a sobering diagnosis. Hard to imagine how I would react to knowing a definite end was so close. I hope you get to enjoy the good times left and people pause for a minute to appreciate their health.

  7. Jésus María Josépha

    Apologies, I was being intemperate.

    Comparing one’s insides with another’s outsides, and vice-versa. Never works.

    Good luck. Nobody forced me to read the stuff. My bad.

  8. Lord Muck

    The friday afternoon RTC student exit from Waterford to Dublin on the rapid express coaches to Dublin, driver would always have Gareth’s show on, etched into my memory.

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