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Georgina Tankard, 53, learned of the first diagnosis two days before she was due to start her Masters degree at the University of Bristol. But the mother of two achieved a distinction with the help of her “amazing” friends and family and the support of the university.
Yesterday she graduated in front of her husband and youngest daughter at the university’s Wills Memorial Building.
Georgina was last in the Great Hall there more than 30 years ago when she graduated with her first degree.
When the teacher and librarian was 48 she decided to study for a psychology of education Masters.
But the first of her breast cancer diagnoses in September 2017 – followed by an operation and five weeks of radiotherapy – put her dream on hold.
During the treatment she found on her leg a cancerous melanoma, which had to be removed.
Georgina, from Emersons Green, South Glos, missed a semester but later returned. Then came news of a lump in her other breast, containing a different type of cancer.
She said: “It was a lot more serious than the first. But I knew what to expect this time.”
Georgina, who hopes to become a children’s counsellor, carried on studying. She again underwent surgery, radiotherapy and other treatments.
She said: “I get emotional when I talk about it as my friends were amazing – my Team George.
“I had 40 radiotherapy sessions and I only did one alone.”
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