Broadcaster Gareth O'Callaghan retires from radio following 'incurable' illness diagnosis
A terribly sad story.
Author and broadcaster Gareth O’Callaghan has announced that he will leave his role in Classic Hits FM following a diagnosis of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a rare neurodegenerative illness.
MSA affects your body's involuntary functions, including blood pressure, breathing, bladder function and muscle control. Some 3,300 people in the UK and Ireland are currently enduring it.
In O'Callaghan's own words, it is "very progressive and sadly incurable".
The 57-year-old is a veteran figure in Irish media, having presented shows on RTÉ 2fm for much of his career as well as a show on Galway Bay FM.
An accomplished author, O'Callaghan has been writing since 1995. To date, he is the author of six bestselling works - five novels and a memoir.
Even while in the depths of depression, he continued to write and produced another best-selling thriller, The Limbo Vigil.
The Dublin native took to Facebook to share the tragic news with loyal listeners as well as the general public.
"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," the post read.
"I am absolutely devastated by what is happening to me and of all that lies ahead."
O’Callaghan said he was learning to take life one day at a time.
In his post, the broadcaster said his voice is slowly deteriorating, adding to his decision to retire from radio.
However, he also added that he intended to fight the disease for as long as is possible, while also vowing to keep on writing.
O'Callaghan mentioned that now he wished to "concentrate on doing the little things I've always wanted to do but could never find the time to do them."