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Max beat the odds to achieve success despite brain tumour

Student Max Attack has lived with a brain tumour for three years – yet managed to pass all the GCSE exams he took at College.

Max, who joined Havering Sixth Form in 2017 on a Progression Year study programme, was diagnosed with the tumour when he was 14. Doctors said it was too dangerous to remove and therefore Max has had to live with the effects of the illness, which caused him seizures and hallucinations.

Amazingly he has fought back and, even though he joined College after leaving Gaynes School with just one GCSE pass, in Maths, this year he has achieved grade 7s in Photography and Graphics, a grade 4 in English Language and a pass in Creative Digital Media BTEC Level 2!

Max is now studying A Level Graphics, A Level Interior & Architectural Design and the Extended Project Qualification.

It has been a fantastic journey for him during his time at College. As well as his exam success, he was also presented earlier in the year with an award for being the Most Improved Student in the Creative Media Faculty.

Max has taken everything in his stride and fortunately has not suffered any ill effects since December last year.

He said: “When I took my GCSEs at school, I kept blacking out and my mum would have to take me to hospital even though I just wanted to get on with it and take the exams.”

His coach at College, Pauline Morse, said: “Max has demonstrated a tremendous commitment this year with resitting some of his GCSEs and he is now aiming for University,  which is fantastic. He should be very proud of his achievements. He has worked really hard and come such a long way under difficult circumstances.”

Max’s mum Anneliese, pictured with Max, said some of the hallucinations he suffered were frightening: “He would see the walls closing in on him and cars that weren’t there. Quite often he wouldn’t be able to sleep because as soon as it got dark he would only see psychedelic colours," she said.


Discover what some of our students go on to achieve once they leave us on our Where Are They Now? page