Disease spurs studies for Canning Vale resident

Mokshya Balage is studying her Bachelor of Science at Curtin University.
Mokshya Balage is studying her Bachelor of Science at Curtin University.

BEING diagnosed with leukaemia had such a dramatic effect on Canning Vale resident Mokshya Balage’s life that it even resulted in a change of study subjects for her.

Ms Balage (18) was diagnosed with leukaemia at 15 while she was still at school. It forced her to take a year off studies to recover.

Before the diagnosis, she was planning on studying to become an engineer, but after seeing what the doctors did to help her get better, she decided she wanted to do what they did.

“After going through leukemia, I wanted to do something along the lines of the health field,” she said.

She is now studying a Bachelor of Science – Human Biology Preclinical at Curtin University.

The diagnosis was a tough time for her, especially as she was about to come into one of the most important years of her life – Year 12 at high school.

One night in February 2012 when she fell ill, she went and consulted an after-hours doctor.

She was sent straight to Royal Perth Hospital where she discovered she had leukaemia.

“It was a bit of a life-changing experience; the whole world stopped,” she said.

Following the diagnosis Ms Balage took a year off her studies and later changed her study subjects to focus on medicine.

When she returned to school, she had a relapse in Year 12. She had to do her final exams in hospital, which was a challenge as she had memory issues.

“I couldn’t remember as much, which was really annoying,” she said.

“But I was determined to finish school one way or the other and my main goal was to get into university.”

Ms Balage has received a $2000 Redkite and Coles Dare to Dream Scholarship.