Despite being diagnosed with testicular cancer when he was just 14, two years later Ted Mackey is celebrating magnificent GCSE results.
The Aghagallon teenager attained nine A* and two As and plans to take four A levels at his school, Royal Belfast Academical Institution.
He was only 14 and had just embarked on his GCSE journey when he received the devastating news that he had cancer.
However a very humble Ted said he ‘just had six weeks’ of intensive treatment at Belfast City Hospital. “I just missed one assessment which I repeated,” he said, adding that it was “only the beginning of the year so I didn’t miss anything important”.
Ted spent his 15th birthday in hospital receiving the chemotherapy. His doctor had told him not to go back to school until five days after he was discharged from hospital. And there Ted was, back at his desk, five days later.
However, the diagnosis and treatment hasn’t held him back and he has flourished, emerging as a top-notch student at the Belfast school.
Ted says his success is equally as sweet as he has shared it with his best friend Chris Hogg who managed to shave an extra half a point ahead of him.
He said he is glad all his hard work paid off. “I kept working but I never thought I was going to do as well as others. I just worked hard in a way that suited me,” said Ted. The talented teen plans to study English Literature, French, Latin and Music to A Level.
And the 16-year-old, who is starring in Fame at Belfast’s Titanic Quarter this weekend, plans to study music at Cambridge University.
Though is dad Ian is an accountant and mum Dawn is a district nurse, Ted has no plans to follow in their footsteps, apart from their love of music. Indeed he wants to become a composer and is particularly eager to compose for movies and TV. “I would really like to thank my mum and dad, my younger brother Patrick and my friends for all their support. Also my teachers, particularly my music teacher Mr Bolton who is unbelievable. The reason I wanted to study music is because of him,” said Ted