A TEENAGE cancer patient says she has been inspired to become a hospital school teacher after attending lessons at The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield for the last three years.
Leah Roberts has philadelphia positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a rare condition which only affects a handful of children in the UK.
The 14-year-old from Rossington, near Doncaster, has already had a bone marrow transplant but now goes to the hospital every fortnight for ‘photopheresis’ where some of her blood cells are treated with a chemical and ultraviolet radiation and returned to her.
To stop her schoolwork being affected, the Year Nine pupil learns with the hospital’s team of teachers and teaching assistants and now wants to follow in their footsteps.
Leah said: “The schoolroom is a great place to take my mind off things. I have to stay in bed for six hours while I have my treatment, so coming to the schoolroom is a nice break. I can stretch my legs and forget I’m in hospital.
“I’d really like to be a hospital teacher when I’m an adult. The teachers here have really helped me to cope while I’ve been here and I’d love to be able to do the same thing for other children.”
Hospital primary school teacher Caroline Hague, who helps Leah, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to work with children like Leah who are often spending a lot of crucial time in the hospital when they should be at school.
“Normality, including education, helps children recover from operations and having something to do can take their mind off serious illnesses.”