Highgate School student, 16, diagnosed with Leukaemia in April secures straight A*s in his GCSEs

PUBLISHED: 14:32 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:33 23 August 2018

Highgate School student Guy Yashiv, 16, was diagnosed with Leukaemia in April but managed to bag a full house of A* grades tucked within his envelope. Photo by Highgate School

Highgate School student Guy Yashiv, 16, was diagnosed with Leukaemia in April but managed to bag a full house of A* grades tucked within his envelope. Photo by Highgate School


A 16-year-old Highgate School student who was diagnosed with Leukaemia in April has bagged straight A*s in his GCSE results this morning.

The independent school’s library was teeming with excited teenagers on Thursday morning, the vast majority delighted with the evidence, in the form of their GCSE results, of months of hard work. For one pupil in particular, it was especially sweet to find a full house of A* grades tucked within his envelope.

Guy Yashiv, 16, was diagnosed with Leukaemia in April. Suddenly life went from the action-packed routine of sport, lessons, hanging out with his twin brother Tomer and their friends and planning for the forthcoming exams, to a gruelling schedule of chemotherapy and hospital visits. Everything changed.

Somehow, though, Guy found the wherewithal to arrange to sit some of his exams from home with an invigilator sent from the school.

“I told myself if I make it out the other end of this, it would be a formidable achievement. Some days, I would have early morning chemo and then two hours later sit an exam. I just had to deal with it: you have to make the most of what you have.”

Guy decided to sit eight of his 10 subjects when the exam boards agreed to award him a grade based on his sitting a percentage of the papers each time. The two subjects he didn’t sit – RS and geography – were approached for an honorary certificate. And today, he found out that those were awarded a 9 each, based on his predicted grades, to add to his eight A*s in the other subjects.

“Now I think about sitting those papers, I’m not sure how I had the strength to do it. It was so difficult”, he admits.

But today he can afford to smile, “I knew how much effort I had put in and, while the initial adrenaline rush was amazing this morning, a small part of me was expecting good news. I’ve been trying to keep positive; you just have to ride out the bad days and remember that it will pass. I consider myself really lucky’.

Tomer was delighted, too, both with his brother’s success and his own suite of 10 A*s.

Guy still has a way to go with his treatment, but hopes to be back to normal life again by the end of the year. He is looking forward to starting his A-levels in maths, chemistry, physics and theology at Highgate where he will continue to be a huge source of inspiration to his peers.

Headteacher Adam Pettitt said: “I’ve always said it’s the journey to the results that matters most, but I’ve not encountered a situation where this is so powerfully true: it’s not only me and Guy’s teachers who are so proud of him but his friends too – he has been a truly inspiring example of someone digging deep and testing himself without fuss or self-advertisement.

“And I know he was brilliantly supported by his wonderful parents and younger brother, but also by his epically level-headed and supportive twin, Tomer, who have kept out of the limelight and deserve recognition for this great family achievement.”

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