Emma Dunnion gives the thumbs up yesterday after receiving the results of her Leaving Certificate. Photo: Brian McDaid
A 20-year-old student who was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was a teenager has said that 'everything happens for a reason' and urged people to pursue their dreams.
Emma Dunnion from Letterkenny was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was a 16-year-old student at Loreto Convent in Letterkenny.
“I got an operation and I had to undergo chemotherapy,” Emma told the Donegal Democrat.
Following the operation Emma had to travel to and from Dublin for a number of months. She also spent a period living in Oaklands in St. Luke's Hospital.
“I think I spent around six months there, but I was okay because my mother, Suzanne, and my sister, Laura, stayed with me,” she said.
Following the treatment, Emma went back to school, but she found that certain situations made it hard for her to settle.
She later attended the Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB) Adult and Education and Training Centre at Ard O'Donnell in Letterkenny.
She immediately loved it, and yesterday she said that she was absolutely delighted with the decision she made to study there.
“I was meant to come here, I made great friends here. I get on better with the older students, even though I am the youngest,” she said.
Emma passed all her exams and did well in business and history.
Emma hopes to study to become a nurse.
She said that despite having brain surgery her memory served her well: “I am very happy with my results. I passed everything.
“I have to say that coming here was the best thing I ever did.”
She urged everyone to follow their dreams: “I would tell anyone to go back and follow your dream, no matter what happens. Everything happens for a reason. Don't let anything stop you,” she said.