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.
Previously: Protected On Both Sides