Broadcaster Gareth O'Callaghan proposes to long term love Paula

Popular broadcaster Gareth O’Callaghan who has been diagnosed with a rare and incurable disease has gotten engaged to his long term love.

Despite being diagnosed with the rare and incurable disease Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a neurodegenerative illness, the 58-year-old also said he is “grateful” too for the past 12 months even though they been his most “challenging” of his life.

He went even further to add that, “it has been the greatest year of my life.”

On his Facebook and Twitter accounts the father of three revealed both his joy and that of his fiancee Paula Delaney.

He posted: “I’m leaving Galway shortly after a month of oxygen therapy at OxyGeneration Clinic. It's been so beneficial in so many ways. But I couldn't leave here without asking the woman I love to marry me. She said Yes!

“A very special Sunday evening. It's been a crazy time lately with lots of uncertainty. Everyone needs to know they truly belong. That feeling is more important than anything else”.

Thousands of fans rushed to congratulate the couple on their news with one saying, “Congratulations to you both. So happy for you. Wishing you health and happiness for the future.”

Another posted: Genuine love will get you through any struggle ! Enjoy the future.”

The author, who is raising awareness of the disease, was undergoing 40 sessions of experimental treatment for his disease in the form of oxygen therapy at a clinic in Galway.

The progressive disease results in a loss of function and death of different types of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Around 3,000 people in Ireland and the UK have been diagnosed with it.

Th former RTE and Classic Hits FM broadcaster and author said: “It is a year since my doctor said to me he believed there could be something nasty out on the horizon. That was months before any tests had been carried out.

“Without doubt it's been the most challenging year of my life. I had often wondered over the years what it must be like to be told you have a chronic, incurable illness. Now I know what it's like. It's terrifying.

“Ironically it has also been a year that I have been personally grateful to experience in some ways. That might sound mad. None of us wants to get sick. I never wanted to be told I had this rare disease that very few people, including many doctors and neurologists, know very much about.

“Since my first session, I have had the pleasure of sharing the hyberbaric chamber with rugby, football, hurling and camogie players - all using the perfect pressurised conditions to heal serious injuries and increase fitness.

“It's been an even greater honour to sit next to individuals who, like me, are hoping that the benefits of pure oxygen will support their efforts to ease the effects and symptoms of serious illnesses they also face every day of their lives in recent years.

“The reason there is a gratefulness and acceptance on my part is because it has made me realise what truly matters in life. I met a woman four years ago whom I never believed I would meet. Her name is Paula.

“Without her the world would feel like a very empty place. Her love and her support makes the unbearable manageable on bad days. I couldn't imagine the two of us not knowing each other four years on.”

More in this Section

Chris Hemsworth: My career was debatable before Thor role

Hayley Tamaddon pregnant with first child at 42

Justin Bieber jokes ‘once a pimp always a pimp’ with throwback photo

Kim Kardashian West joins Kanye on stage for Sunday Service at Coachella


Lifestyle

Snap to it and be app aware: Tips to keep kids safe in a social media world

‘Furniture’ play is couched in relatable language

Have tapes, will travel: Shimkovitz on his quest to spread the word on Africa's rarest music

Runner of the Week: Cork man taking on marathon challenge for mental health awareness

More From The Irish Examiner