A TEENAGER who battled cancer to get top exam results has been hailed as ‘truly amazing’.

Francesca Wheatley was so determined to succeed that she even took some exam modules in hospital while attached to a drip.

Yesterday the 16-year-old, who is now in remission from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, was celebrating passing 11 GCSE’s.

Amongst the grades she received were 2 A*s and 2 A’s for the modules she took while in hospital.

The ‘inspirational’ Westholme School pupil missed a third of her schooling after being diagnosed with the cancer.

But that did not stop her getting an A*, five As, four Bs and a D grade.

While in Year 10, Francesca discovered a lump under her left arm and following a blood test in Royal Blackburn Hospital she was diagnosed with the cancer, which infected the tissue of her lymph nodes.

The 16-year-old, who has secured a place at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School to study A-levels in economics, politics, geography and RE, found the lump in January last year but ignored it until it grew and became even more uncomfortable.

In March, she was diagnosed with the cancer and within days she was receiving chemotherapy at Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Despite the intensive treatment she was determined to continue life as normal and carry on attending school.

Francesca, who is considering a career as a lawyer, said: “I didn’t want the cancer to define me. At first I was worried about my hair falling out and whether I was going to die or survive.

“It was hard but going to school gave me something to do and it was good to see my friends.

“The teachers were understanding too.

“Everybody said I was silly for coming in but I didn’t want to sit at home moping around.”

As part of her treatment Francesca left school every day at 2pm to have daily intensive chemotherapy treatment for seven weeks.

She also insisted she sit modular exams in maths and geography despite being in hospital, and the exam board sent the papers direct to her ward. She gained two A*s and two As from the tests.

Francesca, who was told the cancer was in remission in October, said: “I’m really proud of myself.”

Francesca mum Katherine, 42, and dad Steven, 43, from Whalley said they were extremely pleased with her results.

Steven, who is a professor of international law and head of school at the University of Leeds Law School, said: “We are extremely proud of her, and the results, as they are an end step in the road to normality.”

Lillian Croston, principal of the Blackburn School, said: “Francesca’s results were good under normal circumstances, but considering the serious health problems that she has had to deal with, they are truly amazing.

“Francesca is a shining example of courage, fortitude and determination and deserves every accolade.”