A teenager who lost two grandparents to cancer is on the path to helping others with the disease after her straight A* grades have seen her accepted to study nuclear medicine.
Leah Morgan, 18, achieved top A-level grades in mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics and will now take up her place at Swansea University where she will learn to work with radiation therapy.
Leah, from Bedwas, is one of a handful of learners in Wales to be awarded an NHS Bursary. This will see her tuition fees paid by NHS Wales and the Welsh Government. On completion of her degree she is guaranteed a job in nuclear medicine .
She decided against applying for a place at Oxford due to her commitment to helping other people with cancer.
“I’d developed a love of science through school, and for the last few years I’ve wanted to work in a field that deals with cancer,” Leah said.
“My two grandparents had cancer which opened my eyes to it, before they unfortunately died.
“There’s only two places in the UK that do my course, so it’s a really niche subject. I thought about Oxford, but it wouldn’t be for the specific course I wanted to do. Nuclear medicine is really tailored to me.”
On the course she will learn to work with radiation therapy to treat cancer patients, as well as those suffering from neurological conditions.
The teenager said it was her motivation to work in the field and battle cancer that helped her bounce back from a pre-Christmas low point when coronavirus lockdowns and loneliness began affecting her grades.
“I had Covid 10 days before Christmas, so I had to isolate at a time when we were still allowed to socialise with friends before lockdown came in,” she said.
“After it did, I felt lonely, and I found my grades dropped a bit around January.
“But then my motivation kicked back in when I received my conditional offer from Swansea, which showed me I could make it. I saw what grades I needed to improve and studied double hard.”