4FM DJ Gareth O'Callaghan is quitting radio due to a 'rare incurable illness'
DJ Gareth O'Callaghan is to step down from his radio show as he battles a rare neurological illness.
The Classic Hits 4FM broadcaster has been diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy, an incurable degenerative disease that affects the nervous system.
Gareth, who hosts each weekday afternoon, said in a statement today that he is "absolutely devastated" over the illness.
"This is the post I'd always hoped I would never have to write," he wrote on Facebook.
"I thought I might have been able to continue working as normal for another few months but unfortunately the pace and the painful decline of this awful thing has really taken us by surprise.
"I am absolutely devastated by what is happening to me and of all that lies ahead."
The disease has already begun to affect his voice, he said, speeding up his decision to leave the airwaves.
"I will miss being with you on the radio. It's something I thought I would always be doing for many years to come," he continued.
"Unfortunately my voice is now slowly deteriorating because of the MSA - one of the many side effects of this disgusting, relentless disease. So I've had to make the decision to ease back now."
He promised followers that he would fight the illness for as long as he could and said he was trying to remain positive.
"I'm learning to take life a day at a time now. I've always said that life is only a short journey, and that is true - whether you are lucky enough to remain healthy throughout; or you suddenly find you are unexpectedly challenged by something you never thought would happen to you: something that terrifies you and challenges you at every level of your being."
Gareth was previously mistakenly diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
He began his broadcast career at Dublin pirate radio stations before moving to RTÉ 2FM, Galway Bay FM and then to his role at Classic Hits 4FM.