Emma Hannigan was the beloved and bestselling author of many novels and a memoir. Letters to my Daughters, her twelfth novel, spent five weeks at Number One in the Original Fiction bestseller chart in Ireland on publication in 2018. The Perfect Gift and The Wedding Promise were also Number One bestsellers in Ireland. The Secrets We Share won the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Epic Romantic Novel award. Emma won Woman of the Year in the literature category of the Irish Tatler Women of the Year awards and was shortlisted twice for an Irish Book award. Emma published her bestselling memoir Talk to the Headscarf in 2011, which was updated and extended in 2017 as All to Live For: Fighting Cancer. Finding Hope and was a top ten bestseller in Ireland.
In 2005, Emma discovered that she had the BRCA1 gene mutation which carries an 85 per cent risk of developing breast cancer and a 50 per cent risk of developing ovarian cancer. In 2007 she was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time and her eleven-year battle with cancer began. As an ambassador for Breast Cancer Ireland Emma worked hard to dispel the fears around cancer and spread hope about new treatments. In February 2018 Emma shared with her readers that her dedicated team of doctors had exhausted all avenues in terms of her treatment. In Emma’s final days, she launched a social media campaign #HelpEmmaHelpOthers to raise €100,000 for Breast Cancer Ireland. Two weeks later, shortly before her death, Emma’s target had been reached. In the final months of her life, despite the limitations of her illness, Emma completed her thirteenth novel, The Gift of Friends, sending her acknowledgements to her editor just days before she passed away.