It has been a tough year for University of Sunderland student Abigail Marshall.
The 20-year-old, from Gosforth in Newcastle, has been juggling her Film and Media degree with helping support her mum who is recovering from neurosurgery.
But despite her “run of bad luck” Abigail is proving a true fighter and has now been nominated for an award from her fellow students at the University.
Abigail said: “Mum got ill around Easter time and things got so bad that she lost the use of her legs.
“She had to undergo neurosurgery at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and although she is now recovering, it was a worrying time.”
While supporting mum Nikki, 41, Abigail was still coming into University and attending lectures, as well as helping look after younger sisters Georgia, 18, and Olivia, 15.
She said: “I’m the oldest of three daughters so it kind of fell on my shoulders to look after mum.”
Now, friend and fellow University of Sunderland student Karis King, 20, has nominated Abigail for a Rate Your Mate Award. The initiative aims to shine a light on students who go above and beyond their studies to help others.
Karis, of Bearpark in Durham, said: “To start with, Abigail had a rough time last year, before I knew her, but she persevered and decided to re-do the first year of her course.
“She really made the effort to work hard this year, particularly on her amazing TV script which I can’t wait to read the finished draft of.
“Unfortunately, she was then hit by bad luck again when her mum fell ill over Easter. Abi took on the responsibility of looking after her post-surgery, as well as her younger sisters.
“Despite all of this, Abi has been in the library working hard in her spare time. Even though it’s been a rough time, Abi is still smiling and a pleasure to be around.”
Abigail is now looking forward to the future.
She said: “Ultimately, I’d like to be a screenwriter, that’s the dream.”
The winner of the Student of the Year award will be announced on June 27.