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Wednesday 21 March 2018

'Everything happens for a reason' - Leaving Cert student who battled brain tumour has inspiring message to students unhappy with their results

Emma Dunnion (20) with her Leaving Cert results
Emma Dunnion (20) with her Leaving Cert results
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A Leaving Cert student who underwent brain surgery after being diagnosed with a tumour has an inspiring message to other students who may be unhappy with their exam results.

Emma Dunnion (20) from Letterkenny, Co Donegal was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was 16-years-old.

Emma Dunnion from Co Donegal after her brain surgery
Emma Dunnion from Co Donegal after her brain surgery

The Leaving Cert student underwent brain surgery at Beaumont hospital and 95 per cent of her tumour was removed. While 5pc remains, the Donegal student said that there has been no new growth and that it is being monitored closely.

"I went through a really hard time and I got through it. So my advice to Leaving Cert students is that if I can get through a brain tumour, they can get can get through whatever their results are."

The inspiring teen said that "everything happens for a reason".

"If you're having a hard time now after getting your results, just go back and try again or try it another way. You can do it."

After undergoing brain surgery, Emma said she found it hard to remember everyday things.

"I used to hold my mum's hand crossing the road. I forgot basic things, never mind my Irish Leaving Cert essays. I found it really hard to get back into learning my languages at school so i went to an Adult Education Centre where I didn't have to do Irish for my Leaving Cert."

The Donegal student was delighted with her results and now hopes to study veterinary science at Letterkenny Institute of Technolgy.

"Regardless of their results, I think every Leaving Cert student should follow their dreams because life is too short.

"At St Luke's oncology centre in Dublin there were a lot of Donegal teenagers my age there receiving treatment. All of them who were there with me have passed away since.

"They were my friends. It was great to have people there who understood what I was going through and people I could talk to. None of my friends there are still alive.

"It really puts everything into perspective. Whatever your Leaving Cert results were this week, you can get through this."

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