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Top achiever Antonio Aristides is one of the 2019 matriculants who triumphed against the odds.

The 19-year-old former Saheti School pupil was diagnosed with cancer while writing his preliminary examinations in July last year.

He was determined to complete his matric despite having Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.

Aristides had to undergo chemotherapy, even while writing his final exams.

The results for the 2019 Independent Examinations Board (IEB) matric exams were announced today.

Not only did Aristides complete and pass his matric. He obtained eight distinctions.

He is ranked within the top 5% of IEB candidates nationally for several subjects.

For every matric learner, it's just school [on your mind] at the time. You don't really focus your health.

Antonio Aristides, 2019 matric Top achiever

The whole diagnosis was more of a shock than anything to me. But you just have to get on with your challenges in life.

Antonio Aristides, 2019 matric Top achiever

When I was diagnosed, I said from the start that my goal this year is to finish matric.

Antonio Aristides, 2019 matric Top achiever

The top pupil says he is happy and proud of his achievements, which he attributes to hard work, perseverance and solid support structures.

Aristides has a bright future ahead of him and says he will be study engineering, although he hasn't decided which type.

The 2019 IEB pass rate is 98.82%, down slightly from 98.92% last year.

Matriculants can view their results on EWN's online portal.

Listen to the inspiring discussion with Clement Manyathela:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Top matric achiever scores 8 distinctions, despite cancer diagnosis

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