LIKE any student, Rachel Wagner gets on with life and loves to have fun.
The Marsden woman graduates later this month with an upper second-class honours degree from Derby University, where she is also a student ambassador.
All are major accomplishments for 23-year-old Rachel, who has been wheelchair-bound since she was 10 following an accident. She has also battled against medical problems.
"Of course what happened was awful, but I have just learnt to adapt, get on with things and have fun," said Rachel, whose family live in Netherley Drive.
Rachel, who went to Colne Valley and Newsome high schools, fell five feet off a stage when in the Brownies when she was just 10 years old.
Her spinal cord was damaged and she eventually became wheelchair-bound.
She also had to spend five years making frequent hospital visits for operations and physiotherapy.
Her proud parents, Geraldine and Dave, and older brother Daniel, 25, will travel to Derby next Saturday to see her graduate with a BA (honours) in early childhood studies.
"We are very proud of Rachel, but she just gets on with her life and doesn't let anything bother her," said Geraldine.
"She has coped with such a lot, but has never complained."
Mrs Wagner praised Derby University for its help and "fantastic support" during her daughter's three years there.
The support and advisory team helped with various changes in her halls of residence, such as lowering the bookcase and other furniture and introducing a low-level cooking hob.
Ruby Oates, programme leader for early childhood studies, said: "Despite periods of ill-health, constant pain and discomfort, Rachel has never expected special favours or treatment or moaned about the difficulties life has placed before her.
"She has got on with the academic side and produced some good work, met deadlines effectively and gained work experience in health and educational settings in the city of Derby.
"Rachel became a student representative in year one of the programme.
"She continued this role throughout her time here, advocating on behalf of her student group and peers, attending programme committee meetings and other forums.
"She provides such a positive role model."
Rachel plans to stay on at university to study for a teacher training qualification.
Her final dissertation looked at the provision of special needs support in schools.