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Childhood cancer survivor thanks Peterborough College tutors for their support with GCSE exams

30 years after a cancer diagnosis impacted her schooling, 47 year-old Liz Brown has re-sat her English and maths GCSEs at Peterborough College and passed, describing the college as being “incredibly good with adult learners”.

On her 14th birthday, Liz awoke paralysed and was later diagnosed with aggressive osteoblastoma;  rare bone-forming tumours in her spine. Upon her diagnosis, Liz was told she’d have just five years to live, but after intensive radiotherapy, she overcame the odds and was given the all-clear. But, having had to learn how to walk again, returning to a schooling environment was too physically and mentally demanding. 

Taking to Twitter, Liz said, “Cancer took my teenage years, including the rite of passage of GCSEs”. Determined to obtain her qualifications, Liz enrolled at Peterborough College to study for GCSEs in English and maths, despite only recently receiving a lung cancer diagnosis that led to the removal of her right lung. 

Liz was anxious to step back into education, especially given her poor health at the time,  but she says “the college was great and my tutors Hayley and James were so patient with me. I really couldn’t have gotten through it without them”. Speaking on Results Day, Liz commented, “I was so well prepared by the time I sat down to do the exams. Everyone has been great from day one, you’ve all been so amazing! Thank you for everything”. 

Liz was “absolutely over the moon” to have achieved a grade five in Maths (the highest grade attainable for the foundation course that she studied), and a grade eight in English. “I am proud, so very proud of me”, she shared online. “[Passing my GCSEs] is closure on something I’d had taken away from me without my choice”. 

Click here for further information about studying GCSEs with Peterborough College.