It’s not a goodbye…
Emma Hannigan was one of the most inspiring, loving and caring human beings that I have ever met. Her kindness to others, her wicked sense of humour and her zest for life, were for me some of her key features. Her husband, children, her parents and her dog Herbie were everything for Emma. She loved her family so much it transpired every time she talked about them. That love kept her going and fuelled her quest to beat cancer multiple times with the help of her fantastic medical team. I had the pleasure of meeting Emma almost ten years ago when she started attending Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatment for her arm Lymphoedema. She had just been cleared from her third cancer and unfortunately the following one had already settled in. Over the years she fought and defeated cancer for a total of nine times. As she would have said it: Emma 9 - Cancer 0.
This 10th time was different. And even though she announced in her social media that the end was near, Emma being as kind as only Emma could be, she leaves us all, family, friends and followers with a message of hope and love.
Like a brave warrior, she fought each battle with strength, determination and humour always with a positive attitude. Along the way she found writing as a passion and turned it into her main profession giving us, her readers, the gift of wonderful novels with a message of hope, love, fun, and some happy tears. Besides her books, she would tease us with her yummy bakery skills, but she was also an advocate for breast cancer prevention becoming a Breast Cancer Ireland Ambassador. From fundraising to help finding a cure for cancer, to actively promoting awareness and helping many women in Ireland that were going through the same experience, Emma shared her story and her journey with all of us. She educated and promoted awareness about Lymphoedema too. I know all my post-breast cancer and lymphoedema patients are going through the same pain of losing Emma. She was our Emma. Through her books, blog, interviews and TV shows, she gave us hope, she cheered us up and she made us laugh, right ladies?
At the end all it matters is LOVE, she said.
It's early March 2018 and Storm Emma brought snow and high winds to many parts of Ireland and on the 3rd of March our Emma departed.
As her beloved husband said, Emma is finally in peace, but I have a funny feeling though, that Heaven just hosted a pink glittery party for her recent birthday not forgetting the high heels in the kingdom of little fairies, robins, unicorns and angels. This is how I picture Emma in my mind.
Until we meet again Emma.
PS: Her last message to me was a message of kindness to myself. She wrote that life is too short, not to be so HARD with myself and to live life to the fullest.
I’ve promised Emma that I would be sharing, educating and empowering women after breast cancer surgery. The time has come and on the 21st October I will be hosting a Pink Coffee Morning where I will give a talk on how Physiotherapy can help minimise the effects of breast cancer surgery. We will have special guests and demonstration of some of our services.
This Pink Coffee Morning is a tribute to Emma Hannigan, a brave and unbelievable woman and all our pink warriors!
This event is FREE. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated, and your support will go to Breast Cancer Ireland.