Cape Town mother Lynette Ruiters says her late daughter Keisha Ruiters was determined to matriculate despite her fight with cancer.
Keisha passed away from leukaemia in December, just a week after writing her final matric exams.
Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer has paid tribute to the 19-year-old at a prize ceremony for top-achieving matriculants in the province.
Lynette explains that Keisha was first diagnosed with leukaemia in 2017 during her matric year and could not write her exams due to chemotherapy and hospitalisation.
Determined to matriculate, she re-enrolled for Grade 12 at Marian High School in 2018. But she fell ill again during her final exams.
Keisha vowed to finish her matric because her mother never completed high school and worked long, hard hours to make ends meet.
She said: Mommy, I'm going to show you. I'm going to finish my matric and do something better with my life.— Lynette Ruiters
She was admitted back in hospital in November last year but insisted on writing her two remaining exams from her hospital bed.
I asked the doctors first if she can write in the ward and they said yes and put her in a single ward.— Lynette Ruiters
I never even thought it was possible. She wrote with a drip.— Lynette Ruiters
I don't have the words to tell you how hard it was seeing my daughter going through so much pain.— Lynette Ruiters
A month after her daughter's death, Lynette says she cried when she collected Keshia's matric results and learned of her achievements.
Her mother says Keisha planned to further her studies and achieve her goals. And her daughter was on the right track because she was accepted at the University of Western Cape (UWC).
Lynette describes her as humble, kind, fun, strong and ambitious. She says she's still struggling with coming to terms with her loss and is taking it day by day.
Keshia is survived by her mother and younger sister.
Listen to the mother remember her brave and brilliant daughter:
Listen to Education MEC Debbie Schafer pay tribute to Keisha Ruiters during the awards ceremony: