Thursday 29 September 2016

Leaving Cert results: Brave Sarah battles cancer to pass exams

Katie Morris

Published 14/08/2015 | 02:30

Sharon O'Neill who shaved her head with daughter Sarah (Credit: Facebook Smile for Sarah)
Sharon O'Neill who shaved her head with daughter Sarah (Credit: Facebook Smile for Sarah)

A Leaving Cert student battling cancer has secured a place on a nursing course despite attending school for less than 25 days during the year.

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Sarah O'Neill (18), who attended Loreto in Balbriggan, Co Dublin, opened her results on Wednesday morning to find she had passed every subject.

Sarah O'Neill who got her leaving cert despite her cancer battle
Sarah O'Neill who got her leaving cert despite her cancer battle

"The hospital told me to take the year off and wait until next year to do my Leaving, but I didn't want to because I thought it was something I could do," she said.

Sarah was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma in June 2014 and over the past year has undergone chemotherapy, major surgery and radiation, which she finished three weeks ago.

She is awaiting a scan in mid-September that will hopefully give her the all-clear. She is also bravely telling her story on the Facebook page 'Smile for Sarah'.

Sarah is looking forward to her debs at the end of this month and starting a PLC course in nursing in September.

Sarah and her mum Sharon (Credit: Facebook Smile for Sarah)
Sarah and her mum Sharon (Credit: Facebook Smile for Sarah)
Cancer sufferer Sarah O'Neill (18) with her parents Sharon and Darren
Sarah has 'continued to inspire' says her proud mum (Credit: Facebook Smile for Sarah)

Sarah credits her illness for helping her discover what she wanted to do in life - nursing.

"If I've got anything from this, its finding out what I want to do in the future; I knew I always wanted to do a job that helps other people, something that is rewarding," she said. "Seeing what was involved made me want to do it."

Irish Independent

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