Guest Post: Emma Hannigan

By Maeve Ward
In Guest Posts & Interviews
Aug 8th, 2017

Emma Hannigan was 32 when she discovered she was carrying a rare gene which meant she had an 85% chance of contracting Cancer. Now, twelve years later, she is battling the disease for the tenth time. Here, she shares her inspiration for her remarkable and moving memoir ‘All to Live For’ which shows she has coped in the face of such adversity.

Emma Hannigan on her inspiration for All To Live For

To date, I’ve been diagnosed with cancer a whopping ten times.

I know that sounds horrific and, believe me, there have been some low ebbs over the years. But I consider myself to be incredibly lucky.

I am riding on the crest of the wave of new cancer treatments.

And I’m not just surviving – I’m grabbing life with both hands and doing the things I always wanted to do.

When cancer came crashing into my life ten years ago I found light in the darkness: I began to write. I unleashed a passion inside that finally brought me peace. I’d tried a number of jobs and knew I hadn’t hit on my true calling. Writing freed my mind and allowed me to escape.

When I was first diagnosed with cancer I searched for a book on the subject written by a regular person like me. I found a few but the tone and essence of the stories were negative, scary and made me want to sob.  So I decided to write my own – and completed Talk to the Headscarf in 2010.

Since then I’ve had cancer several more times. I’ve also experienced further advances in medicine and science. And I have updated and extended that book, retitling it All To Live For.

Sadly, I can’t offer you any cures. But inside the pages of this second edition of my memoir you will find honesty, humour, hope and a sense of togetherness.

Nobody going through cancer should feel alone. So if you feel you have no one to turn to, I’m here waving and beckoning you over.

I promise it’s not a misery memoir and I hope that some of the tips and hints I’ve picked up along the way might be useful.  And I hope All To Live For is as enjoyable to read as it was to write.

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