A TEENAGER with an incurable muscle disease was determined not to let his illness get in the way of his dream – landing a place at university.
Josh Langley, 18, from The Meadows, Amersham, achieved two As and a B in politics, philosophy and ethics and English literature in his A-levels at Chesham Grammar School, despite having Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
The grades mean Josh can go to the University of Surrey in September to study politics.
He said: “I was really surprised I got what I did. I didn’t think that I’d got the grades I needed so I was a bit panicky but very relieved when I opened the envelope.
“I worked hard to get those grades, especially in English literature so I was very pleased.”
DMD is a neuromuscular condition caused by the lack of a protein called dystrophin which causes gradual muscle weakness. About 100 boys are born with the disease in the UK every year.
Josh now uses a wheelchair and suffers with tiredness because of the condition.
Josh said: “DMD has a broad range of disabilities. A lot of people with my condition have learning difficulties so I’m quite lucky that it doesn’t affect my learning in that way, but obviously there’s the tiredness that can impact sometimes, but I’m determined to battle on.
“I also have very little upper body strength so it’s difficult to do things like sport.”
Josh joined Chesham Grammar School to do his A-levels after attending Chalfonts Community College. He has been described by staff as ‘one of the school’s hardest workers’.
Josh said: “I think I work hard but I think other people work certainly as hard. There’s always someone who works harder.
“It’s more difficult when you have a disability because there’s so much more you have to deal with like the physical implications, and my days are longer than most people because I have to get up earlier and get ready and there's a lot of hoisting.”