A MUM of three who overcame breast cancer, the death of her unborn child and the loss of her mother to go to university at the age of 31 has won a student of the year award.

Stacey Radcliffe, from Rhyl, went to Glyndwr University in Wrexham in 2014 to study for a degree in complementary therapies and healthcare.

Half-way through her treatment for cancer she lost her mum aged 59 and later, while still studying for her degree, a fourth child to a rare condition called Edward’s Disease.

Stacey, now 34, said: “It was a fantastic night. I really wasn’t expecting to win. When they read my name out, a bunch of emotions went through my head. 

”I was shocked, proud but really taken aback. I didn’t expect to hear my name. I was also upset as my mum wasn’t there and those are the moments you wish your parents could see. But my husband, Gareth, was with me and he was proud as punch.”

Stacey, who was nominated for the award by her tutor, Gemma Jones, was recognised by the panel not just for her academic performance, but also for her drive and commitment to complete her studies, despite facing exceptional personal setbacks throughout her degree course.

Following her breast cancer diagnosis, Stacey underwent numerous gruelling treatments, including chemotherapy, a single then double mastectomy, and corrective surgery after a failed breast reconstruction.

Awards judge Jonathan Hobbs said: “Anyone would be forgiven for stepping back from their studies but Stacey worked diligently towards her goal, not letting serious ill-health or tragedy prevent her from achieving what she set out to do.

“All this while maintaining a positive approach to her studies, engaging with all of the course activities, carrying out voluntary treatments and also being a wife and devoted mother of three.”

Stacey has been providing treatments for patients at St Kentigern Hospice in St Asaph for more than a year now as a self-employed therapist.

She said: “I’ve been self employed for a while but and it’s just time for me to work as a team in care and support. I’ve got a job with the council starting in December working in care, so I’m really looking forward to it and seeing what I can do. Caring is something that I’ve always done and I’d like to do therapy in my own time, but this is something I’ve always enjoyed.”