Wednesday 23 May 2018

'Emma was the epitome of strength, love and generosity, beyond anything I have ever known' - husband of late author Emma Hannigan pays poignant tribute

Emma Hannigan
Emma Hannigan

Kyle Ewald

The husband of author Emma Hannigan left a loving tribute to his wife following her death yesterday.

He wrote on Emma’s Facebook page: “Emma was the epitome of strength, love and generosity, beyond anything I have ever known. She loved her family, loved her friends, and she left a trail of glitter and joy throughout her life… with of course added tinsel at Christmas.

“She was my wife and soul mate, mother of my beautiful children, a friend to many and an inspiration to thousands.”

Emma passed away Saturday morning following an 11-year battle with cancer. After the best-selling author recently revealed that she did not have long to live, she turned her efforts to raising money for Breast Cancer Ireland.

The Wicklow native was an ambassador for Breast Cancer Ireland, and shared with fans that over €100,000 had been raised by their efforts.

“It’s never too late to dream big, keep dreaming,” Emma wrote online following the announcement that the campaign’s €100,000 goal had been reached. “Thank you so much, please keep those donations coming and don’t stop until we reach the top.”

The mother of two was also the inspiration of another campaign supported by her fellow writers to make her final novel, Letters to my Daughters, a number one bestseller.

Last week, the campaign reached its goal when the novel sold 4,065 copies, according to the official book sales monitor Nielsen. The book was Ireland’s bestselling title by a landslide last week, ahead of the second-bestseller, The Year That Changed Everything, by Cathy Kelly which sold 1,893 copies.

Dubray Books also supported Emma’s cause by donating all profits made by the novel to the Irish Cancer Society. Bookstore Eason also made donations to Breast Cancer Ireland in line with Emma’s wishes.

In 2005, Emma discovered she was carrying the Brca 1 cancer gene, giving her a 85pc chance of developing breast cancer and a 50pc chance of developing ovarian cancer.

The following year, she had a double mastectomy and had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to reduce this risk to 5pc. Despite the preventative surgery, she was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 and battled the disease bravely till the end of her life.

Her past novels include Designer Genes, Miss Conceived, The Pink Ladies Club, Keeping Mum, Perfect Wives, Driving Home for Christmas, The Summer Guest, The Heart of Winter, The Secrets We Share and memoir, Talk to the Headscarf.

Cian helped his wife through her battle with cancer as well as with her campaign to help others going through a similar fight. He took to her social media and wrote posts on her behalf to continue to gain support and donations for BCI.

He wrote: “She was my guiding star and my hug to say everything would be ok. But mostly she was just my Emma, and I would need her wonderful gift with words to tell you just how much I will miss her

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