Cork Leaving Cert student who fought rare cancer gets her first-choice college course

Cork Leaving Cert student who fought rare cancer gets her first-choice college course

The 18-year-old said that she “couldn’t believe it” when she received her first choice along with all of her friends who also received their first choices and “are all staying in Cork”.

A Cork student who spent just four and a half months in a classroom over the last two years due to a cancer diagnosis has received her first choice at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT).

Mia Dorney of St Aidan’s Community College in Dublin Hill has been accepted to study Business Information Systems after she committed to still graduate with her class following a Osteosarcoma diagnosis in 2018.

The 18-year-old said that she “couldn’t believe it” when she received her first choice along with all of her friends who also received their first choices and “are all staying in Cork”.

She was diagnosed with the rare cancer after thinking she hurt herself playing sport following an ache in her leg.

“We were going on holidays the next week so my dad said we’d just get a scan before we go to check it out so I went for a scan on a Sunday and Monday morning I got a phone call from the GP who said we had to go to CUH and that there was people waiting to meet me in A&E.

“Next thing I knew I was in a ward and the doctors brought my dad over and I could tell by his face it wasnt good,” she said.

Eight days later her diagnosis was confirmed and she started chemotherapy within two weeks and continued the treatment for five months.

She said that during that time all she was worried about was school because she “really wanted to graduate” with her own class.

Mia was diagnosed with the rare cancer after thinking she hurt herself playing sport following an ache in her leg. Pic: Brian Lougheed
Mia was diagnosed with the rare cancer after thinking she hurt herself playing sport following an ache in her leg. Pic: Brian Lougheed

In October of 2018 she had an endoprosthesis procedure which saw the removal of part of her femur and a knee replacement after which she underwent hydrotherapy and physiotherapy to gain function and movement back in her leg and spent some time in a wheelchair and on crutches.

“While I was on chemo I really wanted to finish school with the class I started with and do my Leaving Cert in 2020 so I used to take the school books into the hospital and into the quiet room and do exam papers and a bit of study and when I was well enough my teachers would visit to the house when I was back home to go over stuff with me,” she said.

Mia got the all clear in April of last year and returned to school for the beginning of 6th year before Covid-19 hit in March.

“When I did go back to school at the start of 6th year I had a few extra classes, I couldn't do PE with my leg so I would do extra classes with the teachers and then Covid hit and I had to stay at home.

“I think all in all I only spent about 4 and a half months in a classroom in two years,” she said.

Despite the all clear, Mia was extra cautious with the virus and said that she is “still a bit nervous about the immune system”.

Mia said that she is looking forward to getting started at CIT and hopes that while studying BIS that she will find her passion.

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