A sixteen year old Donegal writer has been honoured for her account of surviving teenage cancer.
Jessica Moir, who is one-year cancer-free, drew on her personal experience to write a powerful essay which came first in the Features category of the NewsBrands Ireland Press Pass awards this week.
In clear, yet stirring words, the Moville Community College student shared her journey through Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The eye-opening piece charts the pain, fear and the harsh reality of the illness. Yet the talented young writer manages to add positivity and humour to her deeply honest reflection.
“…Even when I felt like giving up, because every now and then the sickness and pain became too much, I still smiled, because being negative in a negative situation doesn’t make things any better,” Jessica wrote.
The poignant piece also serves as inspiration and a comfort to other young people going through their own battles.
“Yes the road to recovery was a tough one, but in the end it was worth it, without this horrible journey I wouldn’t have become the person I am today,” she wrote.
Jessica was one of 16 Transition Year students to be awarded for her original journalism at this year’s Press Pass Awards.
Speaking to Donegal Daily, she expressed her hope that the winning piece could help others.
“I think it would help other people to know to keep positive and help them know a bit more about cancer,” Jessica said.
The aspiring journalist credits her support network for helping her through the illness two years ago.
“It was hard, but I had a good family and good friends,” she said.
And those relatives and friends were with her as she celebrated her award in Dublin on Monday.
Jessica’s proud English teacher, Ms Anne Browne, had originally encouraged her to enter the competition.
Ms Browne said: “Jessica is so brave. She is such an inspiration to others with her positive attitude through such a degree of hardship that most of us would never know.
“She has ambitions and she aspires to be a journalist. This is a great stepping stone into a career in journalism.”