Article transposed from Manchester Evening News: Hard work paid off for a GCSE student who has battled a kidney disease since he was a little boy. James Sharples, 16, from Hyde , suffers with nephrotic syndrome - a condition which causes his kidneys to leak too much protein into his body. Over the years James has been forced to take a lot of time off school while he has treatment at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. But the youngster has refused to let his illness stand in the way of his education and his love of rugby. James’ mum and teachers at Audenshaw School say the determined 16-year-old has worked extra hard to pass his GCSEs. And on Thursday James discovered his efforts had paid off, securing two Bs, five Cs and a D in his GCSEs.
James said: “I’m lost for words, I can’t believe that I got these results. I have always struggled at school and never thought that I would come out with any GCSEs. “I was diagnosed with kidney disease when I was in the last year of primary school and since then have been in and out of hospital. “I’ve had a lot of support from the teachers here at Audenshaw, they have been very helpful and given me extra guidance all the way through.” James plans to stay on at Audenshaw Sixth Form to study his A levels with the aim of pursuing a career as an engineer in the forces. Proud mum, Claire Sharples, said her son had achieved a ‘huge goal’. She said: “James has been in and out of hospital since he was 10 which has meant he’s had to have a lot of time off. “He has worked so hard to keep up with everyone else. He’s really put the hours in over the last 12 months and we’re just thrilled it’s all paid off. “Everyone made a real fuss of him today and I think it took him by surprise.”
And assistant headteacher Miss Breakell added: “James has never let anything stand in his way. He has worked extremely hard and made outstanding progress throughout his time here at Audenshaw. We are delighted with his achievements. “He is a model pupil with fantastic attendance, and has taken on roles as a prefect and peer mentor, as well as being a member of the rugby team. We are looking forward to seeing him progress even further at sixth form.”