A teenager fought against the odds to achieve top GCSE results despite battling against cancer.

Charlie Corbett, 16, was diagnosed with leukaemia just months before starting Year 10.

With three and a half years of treatment ahead of him, the Maltings Academy student took the decision to sit his English and maths GCSEs a year early last summer.

Despite still taking oral chemotherapy every day, as well as antibiotics to strengthen his lungs, monthly intravenous chemotherapy and undergoing a lumbar puncture every three months, Charlie picked up a grade eight, a seven, four grade sixes, a grade five and two Bs in his remaining GCSEs last week.

He now hopes to study physics, maths and computer science at Colchester Sixth Form.

Mum Lisa said: “The teachers at Maltings have been absolutely amazing.

“They bent over backwards for him and just inspired him.

“In science, he found a passion that was never there before and that is down to his teachers.

“Charlie was studying at school from 7am until 6pm.

“He would have his chemo and then get back to his books until 11pm as he knew he had to put the time in after the amount of school he had missed.

Braintree and Witham Times:

“He just wanted to know he had done it and that he had put the work in, whatever the outcome. I admire him for that.”

Charlie, whose only sign of blood cancer was a painful jaw, launched the charity Beat It Box with his mum, giving hospital patients a box of items to keep them occupied while undergoing treatment.

Lisa said: “When he was in hospital, we found we were constantly running to the shop for him for various things, such as hot water bottles as the treatment made him feel cold.

“When he is 18, the plan is for Charlie to become a trustee of the charity, but he is behind all of the decisions and picks the items which are right for the boxes.

“Charlie just wants to be a normal kid. He doesn’t talk about his illness – he just doesn’t see it as a big thing.

“Nobody sees his cancer. His friends just treat him as Charlie.

“He couldn’t cope with any ‘poor Charlie’ attitudes. The cancer does not define him.”

The boxes, delivered to patients at University College London Hospital, contain headphones, books, blankets, hot water bottles, flasks, sweets, crosswords, games and a personal note from Charlie.

Beat It Box is the chosen charity of Marks & Spencer at Freeport Braintree this year, and is now looking for office space to expand in Witham.