TWO inspirational teenagers who battled against illness defied the odds to achieve impressive GCSE results.
The world of keen dancer Adele Harrison, 16, was turned upside down two years ago when she was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and left with bouts of chronic fatigue.
Instead of spending every evening in the dance studio, the Manor College of Technology pupil suddenly found herself sapped of the energy to even get out of bed.
But despite the huge difficulties she faces and the constant hospital appointments, Adele managed to get to school for the final six weeks of term – and still achieved an incredible eight GCSEs.
Meanwhile, Bethany Groom, 16, who has featured in the Mail on a number of occasions in the past, was also celebrating her results yesterday.
Bethany is one of only 2,000 people in the country to suffer with Behcet’s Syndrome, which causes hundreds of ulcers all over the body as well as severe joint pain.
Bethany goes to London every two months for treatment and her school attendance has been just 64 per cent this year due to the illness.
Despite this, the English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College pupil still managed to achieve eight A* - C grades, including an A in English Language.
Both are now planning to go on and study at sixth form college.
Adele, who lives in Jarvis Walk, in Hartlepool, with mum Donna, 35, a medical receptionist, and younger sister, Rachael, 13, said: “There are people who suffer with ME who don’t get any GCSEs at all, so for me to get eight is fantastic.
“There was a time when I didn’t think this would be possible.”
Adele, who is a member of the Watson Academy of Dance, based in Park Road, spent the majority of her time dancing until the shock diagnosis in 2009.
She had suffered with pneumonia twice in the same year and medics also spotted symptoms of meningitis but after a series of tests she was diagnosed with ME.
She said: “It’s just really frustrating because day-to-day I don’t know how I am going to feel.
“Some days I can’t get out of bed at all.”
Adele added: “If I get better then I still dream of dancing on the West End stage.”
“If not then I would love to become a primary school teacher, I love little children.”
Bethany is hoping to go on and become a nurse after she passed her GCSEs with flying colours.
She achieved one A grade, four Bs and three Cs.
Bethany, who lives in Elmwood Road, in Hartlepool, with mum Jane, 39, a teacher and younger brother, Jim Herring, 14, said: “I’ve done better than I thought I would.
“I thought I had done really badly in maths and was almost in tears at one point, but I got a C and that is what I needed.
“It has been tough and I have had to take so many days off school with chronic fatigue, but I just told myself to keep going.”