A PUPIL defied the odds to achieve her GCSE exam results while overcoming brain cancer from an early age.

Naomi Savage picked up her results from Northallerton School & Sixth Form College after battling an ependymoma, a rare type of brain tumour, since the age of four.

The Northern Echo: Naomi has battled a brain tumour from the age of fourNaomi has battled a brain tumour from the age of four

After seeing through three craniotomies, almost 30 long and intensive bouts of chemotherapy, as well as a number of scares and setbacks along the way, Naomi yesterday collected high grades in all of her GCSEs, achieving 7s in English, Art and Music.

Naomi’s mother Lucy Savage, a nurse from Romanby, said: “Naomi’s brain tumour and treatment has had a lasting effect and caused a number of limitations.

"She has limited vision and is sensitive to light. As a result of brain injury, she has processing and co-ordination difficulties, as well as acquired dyslexia. Within school in the last year or so, she struggled socially and became quite isolated for a time.”

“However, in spite of these significant challenges Naomi has adapted remarkably well. She taught herself to become left-handed and has become increasingly independent. She has finally established some really good friendships. She is very insightful, artistic and musical - I’m a very proud mum.”

With her condition now stable, Naomi recently completed National Citizen Service and has been a regular volunteer for the Blue Cross animal welfare charity.

Her next step will be to study Fine Art, English language and Applied Science at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington while fundraising for the charity Brain Tumour Research, which funds sustainable research in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure.

Naomi said: “I know how lucky I am to have survived a brain tumour for this long, when the odds were against me.

"To pass my GCSEs feels like a real achievement.  I’ve come a long way since my diagnosis 11 years ago. I’m now thinking about a career in the creative arts.”