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