Nursing student inspired to achieve degree as she cares for daughter

A dedicated Aberdeen mother-of-two, who cared for her sick daughter whilst studying for a Diploma in Nursing and Midwifery at Robert Gordon University, will graduate on 10 December at 10.30am at the Music Hall.

Carol McCannCarol McMann (46) from Bridge of Don, who is married to John, a police officer with Grampian Police, and has two daughters, aged 20 and 19, successfully completed her Nursing and Midwifery diploma whilst taking care of her youngest daughter, Sarah, who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) at just 16.

After working for more than twenty years as an auxiliary nurse at Woodend Hospital, and having completed a HNC at Aberdeen College in 2007, Carol was inspired to study for a diploma at Robert Gordon University as her family had grown up and she felt it was a perfect opportunity to develop her skills.

However, tragedy struck when Sarah was diagnosed with NHL, a cancer which affects cells in the lymphatic system, forcing Carol to take time out during her second year of study to take care of her.

Carol supported her daughter throughout a vast series of treatments when the disease returned three times, with very short remission periods during the last two years.

Studying full-time and caring for her daughter was particularly testing, but adapting to new procedures in the profession after being out of education for more than twenty years, placed additional demands on Carol.

She explains, "Doing the course was a challenge as so many things had changed over the years from my time at school, however, it did allow me to make new friends.

Despite the pressure, Carol was motivated by those closest to her, she continues: "I would not have got through the course successfully without the invaluable support of Robert Gordon University, my friends, husband and eldest daughter, Rachel. But most of all, I have really been inspired by the bravery of my daughter Sarah, who constantly encouraged me to complete the course."

Carol will celebrate her graduation with family and friends, and thoughts will be with Sarah, who will be undergoing treatments in hospital.

She concludes: "I'm really looking forward to my graduation but I will be a bit sad that Sarah won't be there, as she is undergoing a second bone marrow transplant in Glasgow."

Sarah Grieve
Communications Officer
Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262206
Mob: 07970 622229