AN inspirational teenager has fought her way back from the brink to win her dream university place, after missing out on a year of school.

Emily Wallington, 18, of Noak Hill Road, Billericay was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a cancer of the blood, just before she was due to start Year 11.

However, the Billericay School sixth-former refused to let it beat her and is now off to study sociology at Loughborough University after getting a B in history at A-level, a B in sociology and a C in drama studies.

She said: “I’ve never been a person to court sympathy and when I was ill, it was only my immediate family and a few friends who knew.

“Going to university is going to be a new chapter in my life and again, I’m not going to tell anyone about my illness. It’ll be like starting again.

“I am pleased all the hard work has paid off. It shows if you really want something, it is achievable. “My teachers have been amazing as well.”

Emily spent all of Year 11 in hospital undergoing chemotherapy and even took some exams from her hospital bed. She has been in remission since last year.

Her proud mum, Jeanie Wallington, said: “It has been a journey and Emily never stopped smiling. She has achieved so much, being proud of her doesn’t even touch the way we feel.”

Headteacher Sue Hammond said she burst into tears when she learned Emily had got the grades she needed to go to university. She added: “Emily is amazing and such a fighter. We are all so proud.”