A courageous Chester student who underwent three operations to remove an aggressive brain tumour and beat the odds of completing a degree will be celebrating as she graduates from the University of Chester.
Hannah was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 15 when she was studying for her GCSEs at Christleton High School.
She underwent three major brain operations and gruelling radiotherapy treatment after her tumour was first diagnosed in 2008, but it reappeared less than a year later.
She received further life-saving surgery which resulted in her suffering a stroke, leaving her unable to walk or feed herself.
Hannah, who is now working as a teaching assistant at Dee Banks School, Chester, made an astonishing recovery and went on to win awards for her courage and her fundraising efforts for The Brain Tumour Charity – a cause for which she has raised more than £200,000 to help fund its pioneering brain tumour research.
She said: “I am really proud of the fact that I have managed to gain a degree despite all that I have been through, especially as I was told at the time my tumour was diagnosed that I wouldn’t even get to university.
“Brain tumours claim the lives of so many people in the UK but research is the most poorly funded of all cancers.
“I am passionate about the need for more brain tumour research and know my cancer will come back in the end, but I’ll carry on fundraising and talking about brain tumour research until I can’t do it anymore.”
Hannah’s proud parents, Steve and Dianne Jones, will accompany her to the cathedral on Thursday to see her graduate.
Steve said: “We are very proud of Hannah and what she has achieved after all that she has been through. To see her succeed is wonderful as a father.”
Hannah’s tutor Liz Fleet, associate dean within the faculty, said: “I remember my first meeting with Hannah, several years ago, when she arrived to have an interview for a place at the university.
“She impressed me immediately with her courageous, honest and frank self-appraisal not to mention sheer enthusiasm and determination.
“She more than deserved a place on the programme and we were delighted that she accepted the offer to study at the University of Chester.
“Whilst not directly involved in teaching Hannah over the years, I have always taken a close interest in her progress.
“She has impressed colleagues and peers and it has been a pleasure to hear of her achievements none more so than successfully completing her programme.
“It will certainly be a proud moment when she shakes hands with the vice-chancellor and is presented with her honours degree.
“The faculty is looking forward to the graduation event and we will certainly be celebrating alongside Hannah. Many congratulations Hannah – a very well-deserved accomplishment.”
The family will look forward to more educational achievement as Hannah’s sister Molly, also a former Christleton High School student, is in her first year of studying radiotherapy and oncology at the University of Liverpool.