Ben is read­ing Law at Ox­ford

(And you won’t believe how hard he worked to get there)

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @Camil­la_Good­man

A TEENAGER who was di­ag­nosed with ter­mi­nal cancer and had only been given months to live has beaten the odds and got into a top univer­sity.

In 2011, Che­sham Gram­mar School stu­dent Ben Atkins, then 14, was di­ag­nosed with Hodgkin’s lym­phoma, a type of blood cancer, and doctors also found five tu­mours all his body.

De­ter­mined not to let the cancer beat him, in 2013 achieved one A*, fives As and two Bs in his GCSEs, de­spite sit­ting his ex­ams through chemo­ther­apy.

Ben had to jug­gle the chemo­ther­apy around his lessons and ex­ams.

He would spend half the day in chemo­ther­apy and then do his ex­ams around that.

Af­ter his GCSEs, Ben con­tin­ued to bat­tle on and af­ter hav­ing a stem-cell trans­plant, do­nated by his brother Joseph, he went back to the school in White Hill, Che­sham, to sit his AS lev­els.

How­ever, he be­came to ill to stay on for his A-lev­els and doctors told him his cancer was ter­mi­nal and gave him just months to live.

Last year, Ben as­tounded doctors and was given the all clear and re­ceived an of­fer to go to Sus­sex Univer­sity to study law, de­spite only hav­ing AS lev­els.

While Ben was grate­ful, he de­cided to turn down the of­fer and re­turn to the school in White Hill, Che­sham, to do his A-lev­els.

Ben’s pa­tience and hard work has paid off be­cause last week he picked-up two A*s and an A in English lit­er­a­ture, ge­og­ra­phy and maths.

He will be go­ing to Ox­ford Univer­sity to study law.

An ex­cited Ben said: “I didn’t ex­pect these re­sults, I’m so happy. I though I was just go­ing to scrape through with As.”

Ben said the hard­est part for him was be­ing at school study­ing for his A-lev­els while all his friends were off trav­el­ling. He added: “They’d ring me up and they’d be trav­el­ling across Australia while I was sit­ting in school!

“All my friends have been so good. They’ve made me feel so lucky and they’ve made all this worth it.”

Ben is now look­ing for­ward to go­ing to univer­sity.

He said: “I had a chance to go to univer­sity last year but I just wasn’t ready.

“I’m glad I didn’t go be­cause this has been a re­ally good year for me.

“I’m so ready to go to univer­sity not. I’m so ex­cited to learn some­thing new, I’m just so ex­cited for that!”

In­spi­ra­tion: Ben Atkins with his A level re­sults which have set him on the path to study law at ox­ford

Proud: Ben with his sis­ter Grace when she re­ceived her GCSE re­sults

De­ter­mined: Ben with his GCSE re­sults in 2013

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