Sunday 20 October 2019

Author Emma Hannigan passes away after 11-year battle with cancer

Author Emma Hannigan
Author Emma Hannigan
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Author Emma Hannigan has died following an 11-year battle with cancer.

The 45-year old mother-of-two recently revealed that she was nearing the end of her long-running battle with the disease.  She had fought cancer 10 times and passed away this morning.

After she revealed on her website that her cancer was terminal, she turned her attentions to raising funds for Breast Cancer Ireland (BCI), which backs pioneering research into the disease.  She recently revealed that €100,000 had been raised.

"It's never too late to dream big, keep dreaming," she told her followers on Twitter.  "Thank you so much, please keep those donations coming in and don't stop until we reach the top," she added.

Thousands of people have been supporting her CURE campaign and have also helped her new book 'Letters to my Daughters' reach the top spot in Ireland, with Dubray Books also donating all profits to BCI.

The inspirational author discovered in 2005 that she was carrying the BRCA 1 cancer gene, which meant an 85 per cent chance of developing breast cancer and a 50 per cent chance of ovarian cancer.

To reduce her risk to five per cent, she had surgery to remove her breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes.

In spite of the surgery, she was diagnosed with cancer for the first time in 2007, and her 11-year battle began.

Speaking about her terminal diagnosis in a blog post last month, she said, "Faced with very little time can I tell you what screams out at me? Love.

"Nothing else has much meaning anymore. Just the love I feel for the people I hold dear. My two babies (ok they both tower over me, but I'm still allowed call them my babies) my husband, my parents, my family, my friends and readers."

Tributes have started to pour in for the author.  Breast Cancer Ireland, of which she was an ambassador, tweeted, "BCI wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the family of our dear friend Emma Hannigan who lost her battle with cancer earlier today. RIP".

Broadcaster and friend Maia Dunphy wrote, "The news we never wanted to hear. Even in her last days, @MsEmmaHannigan was still blazing a trail. Her book reached number one and she raised over 100k for @BreastCancerIre . Just extraordinary. Love and thoughts with Cian, Sacha and Kim. We miss her light already. XX"

Emma is survived by her husband Cian and children Sacha and Kim.

'The very definition of a fighter' - tributes pour in for author Emma Hannigan following her death aged just 45 

Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in Life