Fakenham student’s exam joy after cancer battle

A courageous Fakenham High School student is celebrating an impressive haul of GCSEs – despite losing more than half her Year 11 study time while undergoing treatment for cancer.

Kirsty Tindal, 16, from Barney, near Fakenham, passed in nine subjects, including one A* and five A grades.

She was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma just three days into the new term last September, and spent much of the next six months undergoing a debilitating course of chemotherapy.

'It was a massive shock – you never think it is going to happen to you,' she said. 'I was scared, as you don't know what's going on. I was not really thinking about school at the time, but I had done half my GCSEs so I was a bit worried about completing them at all.

'I had six months of chemotherapy, and spent less than 50pc of my time at school. I was very tired, and I couldn't get up in the mornings. I had sickness quite often, and I was on steroids which made me very emotional.


You may also want to watch:


'It was hard to be around people sometimes. You felt really lost, and not yourself. When I did manage to go to school I was a bit down, but then you get all your friends around you and it helps so much.'

Kirsty said the support of her family – including parents Julia and Ron, and brother Murray – was also invaluable during her frequent hospital trips.

Most Read

Although she still needs regular scans, Kirsty's illness is now in remission. 'I'm never going to be clear of it, and there's always a chance it could come back,' she said. 'But it's so far, so good.'

Now, the determined teenager is looking forward to studying A-levels in physics, chemistry, biology and maths at Fakenham College in the hope of becoming a forensic scientist.

'I did consider a medical career at one point, but I think I've had enough of hospitals,' she said.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter