STUDENT Yasir Ilyas is thrilled he has completed a degree - but unlike most graduates he has had to overcome a debilitating illness to do so.
The 22-year-old suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurological condition which affects the central nervous system, leading to problems with vision, fatigue, pain and mobility.
Yasir, who lives in Garbett Street, Accrington, was diagnosed with the disease when he was 18.
He said: "I started getting headaches when I was about 12. I went to a few doctors and was given tablets but my condition didn’t improve.
"My GCSEs were not brilliant because of my condition and at that time the doctors still did not know what was wrong with me."
But just as Yasir was about to begin a Btec National Diploma in information technology at Blackburn College, he was diagnosed with MS following an MRI scan.
But he has refused to let the condition get the better of him.
He was chosen as Student of the Year on his Btec course and from there went on to a foundation degree course in digital media design at Lancaster University.
Yasir said: "I have always liked the media side of IT with the visual effects and I like creating websites as well."
During his two-year course, Yasir relied on help from his parents, Ahmar and Shazia, and his seven brothers and sisters.
Former Hollins Technology College pupil Yasir said: "They all have been really supportive, especially my parents."
He said he wants to continue with his studies and possibly complete a BSc degree in IT.
Yasir added: "I have a motto, Never give up as life is a maze that always leads a way out to a God-gifted surprise.
"I think of it when I need some inspiration."