Thursday 8 December 2016

Rose sat Leaving Cert weeks after cancer diagnosis

Louise Walsh

Published 29/05/2015 | 02:30

The 2014 Meath Rose Sinead O’Sullivan (left) with this year’s Meath Rose Elysha Brennan, who was diagnosed with cancer just weeks before her Leaving Cert. Photo: Kieran Maguire
The 2014 Meath Rose Sinead O’Sullivan (left) with this year’s Meath Rose Elysha Brennan, who was diagnosed with cancer just weeks before her Leaving Cert. Photo: Kieran Maguire

The newly crowned Meath Rose has described the ordeal of sitting her Leaving Certificate just two weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.

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Elysha Brennan was told she had Hodgkins Lymphoma just as she prepared to sit her repeat exams, and remembers being devastated.

Elysha, now 22, said: "It was my repeat Leaving Certificate and I had really put everything into it to get the points to study medicine.

"When I was told I had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation straight away, I was more upset about the exams than the diagnosis - because I really had just put my life on hold for a year to study."

However, her oncologist agreed to defer the treatment while the Bettystown resident sat the exams.

"I sat the exams in a complete blur - but when devastating news comes like that, you get a sort of clarity."

Despite the cancer, Elysha got an impressive 575 points and a place in the Royal College of Surgeons where she is now entering her third year of medicine.

Irish Independent

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