Leaving secondary school is a milestone in any person’s life.
It should be the beginning of a whole new world and, for many, the opportunity to realise cherished dreams.
However, matters didn’t move in that direction for north-east teenager Ruby Black.
Far from being filled with positivity, her journey into adulthood was stalled by a devastating cancer diagnosis.
In May last year, just a day after leaving school, the 18-year-old from Rothienorman, found out she had Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia.
She said: “I was quite happy at school and just getting on with things.
“I had a pain in my ear and the doctor thought I had an ear infection.
“At a party, I started vomiting blood and had to be rushed to hospital.”
Ruby’s diagnosis was made very quickly and she received blood and platelet transfusions before she underwent chemotherapy.
It was obviously a traumatic time, but she successfully finished her treatment in October after spending all of the summer in hospital.
Ms Black said: “I missed my prom which I was gutted about. I had my dress and my nail appointment was booked and my tan appointment was booked too.
“I’m having a mini prom this summer to make up for it.”
She’s now in remission, and has given herself things to focus on – such as Courage on the Catwalk, the Friends of Anchor charity fashion show which takes place next month.
Her mum, Morven, nominated her for a place in the line-up, although Ruby needed a little persuading.
Mrs Black said: “She has lost all of her confidence, but as a mother I thought it would be really good for her to build her confidence.”
Her daughter is both relishing the event and slightly apprehensive about taking to the stage.
She said: “I’m glad I am taking part but it’s still quite scary. I can’t wait to get dressed up and have my make up done, but I’ll be scared.
“We’ve got two tables of 12 and loads of balcony seats for the event.
“One of my friends has more than 10 tickets for all her family – some of whom I haven’t even met, so it’s amazing.”
Although Ms Black’s experience has been hard, she has received a tremendous amount of support from her friends and family and grown closer to her 20-year-old sister, Hattie.
Now, they can all look forward to the future.