THE death from cancer of her engineer dad spurred on a Lancashire teenager in her A-levels and now she plans to study medicine at university.
Georgina Morris, 18, said seeing how nurses and doctors cared for her father, Stephen, 59, and his encouragement to fulfil her dreams made her mind up to study hard to get a coveted place at medical school.
It is what I have been working so hard for and I feel elated that I have managed what my dad always told me I could doGeorgina Morris
Now a place at St Andrew’s University awaits, after the teenager celebrated getting an A* in biology and As in maths and chemistry.
Georgina, who studied at Winstanley College in Wigan, said: “It is what I have been working so hard for and I feel elated that I have managed what my dad always told me I could do.
“I feel like I would be making him proud. I’m ecstatic, I still don’t think it has sunk in.”
Georgina said she was always interested in sciences but was undecided on whether to take medicine, dentistry or veterinary science at university.
“Then my dad got cancer, a rare kind of cancer,” she said.
“They gave him a year and he lasted 11 months and I think really that was what made my mind up about what I wanted to do.
“I felt it was important for me to give something back to my community and to all those who had dedicated so much of their time and compassion to my dad throughout his ordeal.
“I just admired what they did. I wanted to give something back, that was one of the main reasons.”
Stephen, a mechanical engineer, from Haigh, Wigan, was diagnosed with Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma and died in February 2013.
Georgina said: “When my dad was diagnosed after about two to three months at that point we knew the chemotherapy was not working and he was too ill to have radiotherapy.
“He just prepared me for the fact that he was not going to get better.
“He just said to me, ‘Don’t stop living your life. Get on with your life and get on with studying, I don’t want you to stop being yourself, you have to carry on with your own life, even though I won’t be around. You can do whatever you want to do’.”
Just days after Stephen died, Georgina, supported by mum, Leslie, 56, was back in class to take her GCSE maths exam.
Georgina added: “My teacher said you can drop out if you don’t feel prepared.
“I just said no, I want to do this exam because it’s what my dad would want me to do.”
On top of losing her dad, Georgina’s grandma, Olwen Heard Morris, also fell ill soon after Stephen was diagnosed.
She suffered a small heartattack when she found out he was ill and came to live with Georgina and her mum Leslie. She died a few months before Stephen lost his battle.
Georgina also suffered a health scare of her own while sitting her AS levels. She said: “I found a lump on my left breast and with my family history of cancer I was quite scared.
After having the necessary tests, the lump was diagnosed as a fibroadenoma, a benign tumour, but Georgina still needs to have regular check ups to make sure that doesn’t change.
She said:“It meant a lot of trips to the doctors and more missed time for revision but it worked out ok and I got the grades I wanted, plus an A* in my Spanish A-level.”
Georgina, who already took her Spanish A-level last year, will begin her six year medicine degree later this year.
Mum Leslie said: “I am very happy for her and very proud of her. I am really going to miss her though.”