Three years ago I had the chance to interview Australian novelist Colleen McCullough who, even if she'd never written another book, would be a literary legend for The Thorn Birds. (Her people requested that the interview be via fax, but it still counts in my mind.)
At the time she was battling macular degeneration, a disease that affected her vision and her ability to read and write. Amazingly, she was able to save her sight but, according to this piece in the Times of London, she's still not well. Next year she's due to undergo brain surgery for another serious ailment, trigeminal neuralgia, also called the "suicide disease" because of the extreme pain it causes in the face.
She is one talented, courageous lady and I hope she'll be able to overcome this adversity as well.