One of Ireland’s best known radio broadcasters has revealed he has Parkinson’s Disease.
DJ Gareth O’Callaghan took to social media to explain that he is shattered by the news but plans to continue presenting his Classic Hits show on 4fm.
The presenter received many tweets of support from friends and fans.
Dr Ciara Kelly, a GP, broadcaster and journalist, offered him her best wishes, writing: “Music therapeutic in Parkinson’s ... you’re in the right job ... hope you’re doing ok”.
Gareth replied: “Thanks Ciara. Music is medicine. You’re so right. So is resistance training and mindfulness. I’ll kick its ass!”
He also spoke to fellow broadcaster Neil Prendeville on Cork’s RedFM about his devastation but also his determination to carry on.
“I am in a quandary of disbelief and devastated but I realise that life goes on and I have to move with it and it is so important I keep doing everything that I do.”
Gareth said that when he was first diagnosed, he was told he had had the condition for a couple of years.
“That was a relief because there were times when I thought I was going mad.”
He had been feeling unwell for some time and had looked up a variety of diseases that he thought might be responsible for his ill health.
Gareth had not considered Parkinson’s until he read about the experiences of American singer Linda Ronstadt and, in particular, English DJ David Jensen.
“That was when the lights went on. Everything he described was me.”
He also expressed thanks for all the support he has received from family, friends, and fans.
“I am so grateful for the messages I received on Facebook and Twitter. I particularly want to thank Paula Delaney, the love of my life.”
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