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Against the odds, inspirational scholarship student Jessica Johnson has overcome huge health problems to from Edge Hill University today.

Jessica was awarded a Chancellor’s Scholarship last year based on her positive attitude and determination, and even though she has had to have so much time off, she has graduated this week with a degree in Teaching, Learning and Mentoring Practice.

At the end of Jessica’s first year at Edge Hill, she was diagnosed with a grade two brain tumour, and faced a high risk operation. To help raise awareness of cancer in young people, Jessica agreed to be filmed for Channel 5’s Brain Hospital where her day-to-day activities leading up to the surgery were filmed, as well as the four hour operation where she was fully awake and playing on an iPad.

Unfortunately Jessica’s tumour returned two years later and Jessica still has difficulties with her speech and memory and has had to retrain herself to do simple tasks like getting dressed. She lost some feeling in her rights arm as a result of the surgery and still receives regular physiotherapy – but she hasn’t let this get in the way of her studies.

As well as sharing her experiences with others on television, Jessica has helped raise funds and organise events for the Teenage Cancer Trust and CLIC Sargent. She also set up a Facebook page, where she blogs about her experiences and gives advice and support to other young people with cancer.

Jessica has overcome this huge personal adversity and has decided she wants to become a supply teacher. She believes her success is down to the support she has received from Edge Hill.

“I’m so thankful for the help and guidance I’ve received from the Student Services Inclusion Team and in particular my Learning Facilitator. I’ve had so many weeks away from my studies and throughout that time I regularly spoke to my tutors and tried to keep up to date with my work, and I couldn’t have done it without them.

“I made lots of friends while on my course and they always kept in touch when I was off, which definitely helped to cheer me up.

“I would advise current students to never give up on their dreams – no matter how long it takes you, you’ll get there in the end.”

To find out more about studying for a degree in Teaching, Mentoring and Learning Practice, click here.