The idea of this soft question raised by a little girl when I was talking for children in a children's cancer clinic about the heaven of mathematics and its beauties during a friendly mathematical game. As a professional mathematician and a MathOverflowist I think it is more appropriate for MathOverflow forum but I am not sure that they can understand the importance of such questions for those who have no hope to see tomorrow's sunshine.
Who is our hero? Which one of the professional mathematicians is really a hero? Those who wrote more than $1000$ papers? Those who proved the most complicated conjectures of the century? Those who took a Ph.D below $18$ years old? Those who have the IQ $200$? Those who won a Nobel or Fields medal?...
Do you think they deserve the "hero" badge just because they have great mathematical talents and works? I don't think so!
Let's look at the question by a different point of view. What is the specialty of a hero? Being powerful and inaccessible? Maybe such people are special but a hero's actions and character should be accessible for all members of the society. He/she should be an ideal to follow not an idol to hallow. Becoming a famous great mathematician is inaccessible for many people because it depends on some instinctive parameters like IQ but trying to be a great mathematician is accessible for all of us. Who are our heroes? Those who do their best. We can follow them and learn many things from their endless effort. Now it is time to bring the idea of the main question.
Life is hard but it is harder for those who are suffering from an incurable disease. Even the simplest daily works are big challenges for them and they need an indefatigable effort to do any usual act. They try to solve these unsolvable problems every day but some of them try to go further and further and become great professionals in one of the realms of knowledge. Our heroes are among them. There are many famous and unknown cases of such heroes. For example writers and physicists have their own heroes in this sense, Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking. Now my question is about mathematicians:
Question: Do you know anybody with a serious incurable disease who became a professional mathematician or a professional mathematician who keeps working after a serious incurable illness? Do you know a hero?
Remark: In order to avoid opinion based answers, please stay in the defined frame of the question and add some references for any mathematician who you think has the given conditions.