Star Sophie aces exams

IPSWICH: She is an inspiration to the whole town.

Those were the sentiments of the family and teachers of a “brave and positive” teenager who defied all the odds in passing her GCSEs while fighting leukaemia.

Sophie Brown, head girl at St Alban’s Catholic High School, in Digby Road, was diagnosed with the disease on November 16, 2009.

The illness has caused her to miss months of school, suffer from severe fatigue, appetite loss and hair loss.

However, the bright young star has been busy celebrating today after she discovered her GCSE results while on holiday in France.

After undergoing months of chemotherapy, Sophie from Ipswich told The Evening Star that she was delighted to have achieved one A*, four As, three Bs and one C – despite having to sit two of her exams while undergoing treatment in Ipswich Hospital.

The talented 16-year-old put her achievements down to the support of her family and friends.

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“I was so pleased – I’ve had a big smile on my face since I found out,” she said.

“I was mainly delighted because I did miss quite a lot of school. When I was diagnosed I missed just over a month and since then I have never had a whole day at school – mainly just half days.

“All my teachers were amazing during all of this. I think it is the emotional support from my friends and family that got me through this.

“Everyone surrounding me made me realise that I could do anything and made me realise that I can still continue to live my life.”

The teenager is now excited about the prospect of study for her A-levels at St Joseph’s College and hopes to then study Law at Cambridge University.

Proud mum Fiona said that she believed her daughter was an inspiration to all.

She said: “She is simply amazing and she makes me so proud every day. Her results are a testament of her spirit and determination. She has always been so full of spirit when it came to studying and getting through her treatment.

“I really think that I am the proudest mum in the country – but not just today, everyday. For a girl that has been so unwell she is my shining star.”

Headteacher Dennis McGarry said: “Sophie is a credit to herself, her family and to the school.

“She is such a good example of what our young people are capable of achieving. We are all immensely proud of her.”