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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
My surprise at my GCSE grades
Laurie Hillman

Among thousands of young people celebrating their GCSE results is Laurie Hillman, 16, who has had to cope with leukaemia at the same time as studying for her exams.

Laurie, a pupil at Pontllanfraith Comprehensive School in Caerphilly county borough, describes her delight at achieving two A*s, four As and two Bs at GCSE.

I took eight GCSEs and needed at least six Cs with all Bs in sciences in order for me to do the courses I want to in college.

I was shocked when I discovered my grades. I didn't think I'd achieve the grades that I have.

My mum and dad are really surprised. They are really impressed with me.

Biology A
Chemistry A
History A
Maths A*
Physics A*
Spanish A
English B

I can now go to college to do A levels in biology, chemistry, physics and PE or psychology.

In the long term, my plan is to have my own physiotherapy clinic, I've always wanted to do it.

I eventually want to go to Cardiff or Bristol University to study physiotherapy.

While I was in hospital I was given a laptop computer. It meant I could get on with my school work.

But quite a lot of the time I didn't feel like doing any work.

People ask me why I kept going. If I had stayed behind a year, I would have been going to college on my own and I wouldn't know anyone, so I just wanted to be the same as everyone else, I didn't want to be treated differently.

Lots of people have helped me and I wouldn't have done it without their help.

I had a tutor who came to see me in hospital and at home and my next-door neighbour is a biology teacher so if I got stuck on that she'd come over and help.

My sister's friend's father is a maths teacher. He used to come over on Sunday to do maths with me.

My English teacher and my Spanish teacher from school would come and help me as well.

I couldn't have finished my exams or got these grades without all the help and support they gave me.

I did go back to school, it was difficult at first, people didn't want to come up and talk to me because they were worried about upsetting me, but after a while it was fine.

It did feel a bit strange, but I didn't want to be away from my friends.

So how am I going to celebrate? Well tonight I'm going out with my friends who all did well with their results.

And my dad promised me money according to the grades I got so now he owes me 450! I'm going to spend it on a big shopping trip.


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