Author and broadcaster Gareth O'Callaghan writing new book despite incurable disease

Popular author and broadcaster Gareth O’Callaghan is busy writing his next book and is staying positive despite being diagnosed with a rare life-changing and incurable disease.

The father of three left his role in Classic Hits FM last Summer after receiving a diagnosis of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a neurodegenerative illness.

The progressive disease results in a loss of function and death of different types of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Around 3,000 people in Ireland and the UK have been diagnosed with it.

Following an absence of several weeks updating fans on how his health has been on his official Facebook page, O’Callaghan revealed he has been keeping busy writing his latest book.

He posted: “I've been meaning to say hello to you for some time now. The days are slipping by, and I keep saying to myself ‘write something’.

"Then something pops up and gets in the way, and I end up thinking I'll do it tomorrow. So here I am. Thank you to those of you who message me to say 'hello', and ask me to put up a few words.

“What have I been up to? Well, I've been writing something that I think is quite special. Hoping for a publication date before the end of the year.”

O’Callaghan hinted that his forthcoming book may be on a similar vein as that of cancer awareness advocate Vicky Phelan.

“Speaking of books, I'm really looking forward to reading Vicky Phelan's memoir, which is due to be published in October. Vicky is truly special.

She has saved so many lives because of her single-minded determination, and her refusal to bow to establishment pressure. She will always be a hero in the hearts of this generation. It promises to be an amazing book.

O'Callaghan has been writing since 1995 and is the author of six best-selling works – five novels and a memoir.

He wrote A Day Called Hope: A Journey Beyond Depression about his own personal experience of severe depression. It has been published in 15 countries, and translated into 10 languages.

The mental health advocate also update fans on how his health has been, “So where are we now? Good question. Good days, and some not so good. New medications that help you to sleep. Others that ease pain.

“Extra physio(therapy) which is really helping my legs and back; and now, from next week, Speech Therapy. This will help to keep my voice strong and consistent. I might even be able, at last, to sing without emptying a room!

I'm also continuing to stay positive. I have to. There is no choice here. I've spent a lot of time over the past few weeks thinking about how important time has become to me. I've wasted so much precious time over the years. Now I'm trying to make sure that not another minute is wasted.

“It also occurred to me recently just how beautiful and uplifting a simple smile can be. Something so simple can be the most defining moment of your day.

“It's all so obvious, and I had to wait until now to truly realise what are among the most important things on this curious, unpredictable journey each of us is travelling.

Thousands of people reacted to his announcement with messages of support and love.

One fan messaged him by saying, “What a truly amazing guy you are. Following you progress with great interest. Stay well and I will read your book for sure”.

Another added: “Lovely to hear from you Gareth I thought of you during the week when I heard a Don Henley song. You always played him miss you so much on the radio keep strong”.

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