Luke Price-Gerrard, 19, underwent treatment for a rare carcinoma at St James’s Hospital, in Leeds, in the spring, missing the last six weeks of term to have daily radiotherapy.
He was diagnosed after finding a lump next to his ear and after having a tumour removed doctors confirmed that it had been malignant.
However Luke, a student at Rossett School, did not let the diagnose or the radiotherapy affect his life. Instead the 19-year-old, who wants to be a personal trainer, committed to both his studies and staying strong as he signed up to a bodybuilding competition in his home town Harrogate. The contest took place the day after he completed his treatment. He said: “I have never done anything like this before but it definitely helped me to cope with the radiotherapy because it gave me a goal and something to focus on.”
Before his cancer diagnosis he had returned to Rossett School after leaving another sixth form. Rossett had created a B-tec extended diploma in sport for him which it had never offered before. Despite coping with radiotherapy and having to work from home in the latter part of his course Luke went on to earn a triple distinction* - the best grade he could achieve.
He said: “I’m really happy with my Btec results, and that I can now move on to the next step in my career. I’m looking forward to starting my course in September and getting back to full fitness.
“I am proud of myself and how I did in the competition. I didn’t place well, but I wasn’t able to do as much training as I would have liked, so it was good just to be there.”
His mother Rachel Wilson said: “Luke didn’t let his diagnosis have any effect on his studies – if anything, it gave him more determination. The last few years have proven he can overcome anything. He takes each day as it comes and I am so proud of what he has achieved. He couldn’t have done this without the amazing support of the Rossett staff team.”
Rossett School’s deputy headteacher Paul McIntosh said: “During his treatment, Luke was keeping in touch by email and doing all his work remotely. He has got incredible drive – he has a real interest in the career he is pursuing and has been completely focused on that regardless of all the other problems he has faced.”
Head teacher Helen Woodcock added: “It has been a difficult few years for Luke, and in particular the last few months have been very hard. However, he has taken on everything with determination and strength of character and we’re very impressed by all he has achieved.”