A new research fellowship in memory of bestselling author Emma Hannigan has been announced by Breast Cancer Ireland.
Ms Hannigan, who was an ambassador for the charity, raised over €126,000 in the weeks before her death last month.
Breast Cancer Ireland chief executive, Aisling Hurley, described Ms Hannigan as an “inspiring woman”.
The author’s tenacity and good humour in the face of repeated cancer diagnoses over the last 11 years touched many people.
Ms Hurley said Ms Hannigan had remained selfless until she passed away on March 3.
The writer and mother of two teenage children would offer to go to presentations and talks and supported many people who were diagnosed with breast cancer.
Ms Hurley said Ms Hannigan would often remark that her life had been extended because of developments in cancer treatment. “Each time she was diagnosed there was a new drug or clinical trial that she could avail of,” said Ms Hurley.
The Emma Hannigan Breast Cancer Research Fellowship will support pioneering research taking place in the Breast Cancer Research Centre in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
The recipient of the initial three-year award is Dr Damier Varislija, who is examining why a significant number of breast cancer patients have developed resistance to current hormone therapies.
Dr Varislija wants to better understand the mechanisms of disease recurrence so that effective strategies can be developed.
Ms Hurley said Ms Hannigan’s family are “thrilled” that the award will be made in perpetuity to remember her.
“The naming of this fellowship in Emma’s honour recognises her valuable contribution to our research efforts and it ensures her memory lives on in transforming the landscapes of breast cancer in Ireland into the future,” said Ms Hurley.
Breast Cancer Ireland raises funding for breast cancer research and promotes education and awareness of breast health among women of all ages.
Money continues to be raised for the charity through the sales of Ms Hannigan’s latest novel, Letters to my Daughters.
Dubray Books is donating profits from the sale of the book to Breast Cancer Ireland and contacted Ms Hurley last week to arrange the handover of a cheque for €18,000.
The bookstore’s courier company also agreed to donate its costs to the charity.
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