Young Citizen: Hard-working Duval, 16, gets good grades despite crippling illness

PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 September 2018

Duval Gatson scored good grades despite being in and out of hospital in the last year. Pic: Isabel Infantes

Duval Gatson scored good grades despite being in and out of hospital in the last year. Pic: Isabel Infantes


A hard-working student who scored high marks in his GCSEs despite battling a crippling kidney disease is this week’s Young Citizen Award nominee.

Duval Gaston, of Baden Road, Ilford, achieved grades 8, 7 and 6 across the board in his GCSEs despite being in and out of hospital suffering from nephrotic syndrome, which leaves him with chronic tiredness.

“I am pleased, honoured and thrilled to be nominated as Young Citizen and those who know me will note, I have managed to overcome tremendous odds,” said the 16-year-old.

Duval described his parents as his “rock” and told the Recorder that maintaining a positive mental attitude throughout his studies was key.

“There were moments when I experienced weakness, numbness, stomach cramps and extreme fatigue with lots of fluid retention in my legs which made it almost impossible to carry on with the exams,” he said.

But added: “The journey was not easy, but with the encouragement from the teachers I was able to make it through the entire term and came out victorious, they are my hero.”

Duval is a student at Forest Gate Community School.

Aside from his studies, he has also helped coach and mentor young children at Chobham Academy Football Team.

This year he will study English, maths and law.

After leaving school, he has dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.

Headteacher Charlotte Whelan, who nominated Duval, testified to his tremendous work ethic.

“He is always at school very early in the morning,” she said.

“I arrive at close to seven and he is already there.”

She added: “He really puts in the work and the effort to achieve his goals.”

The Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award is about celebrating the amazing young people in our borough.

It is run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club, and sponsored by The Exchange shopping centre, Ilford, which provides each monthly winner with a £30 gift card.

The Young Citizen of the Year will be crowned at the Mayor’s Community Awards.

You can nominate any person who lives or works in Redbridge, as long as they are under 25, by emailing

Related articles

Latest Ilford Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

London One North: Amersham & Chiltern 22 Eton Manor 15

Yesterday, 16:00

Essex club had won four in a row prior to Saturday’s game, compared to Shaymen’s solitary league victory in 14 matches

Yesterday, 17:00

Local paper journalists may not get to review West End musicals or critique Michelin star restaurants – but they do get to enjoy the festive spectacle that is the local pantomime.

Yesterday, 17:00

A 14-year-old trekker who raised more than £2,000 by traversing the capital is this week’s Young Citizen nominee.

Yesterday, 13:20

The chairman of governors of a Wanstead primary school is quitting in protest of the Diocese of Brentwood’s plans to turn it into an academy.

Yesterday, 13:00

The former Stevenage midfielder is slowly building up his fitness after a difficult summer on the sidelines

Yesterday, 12:00

Two boxers from Gator ABC represented the Hainhault based club in the National ABA Youth Championships held in Hayes on Sunday.

Yesterday, 12:00

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting visited students at Ilford County High School to talk about why he first got involved in politics, what it means to be an MP and why students might consider a career in politics.


The Exchange in Ilford has added a state-of-the-art, Savannah-themed play area, with hand painted animal sculptures, to its brand new family zone, designed by American creative agency Playtime

Are you an unpaid carer aged 25 or over? Are you interested in working towards getting into or back into work? Do you need practical help and support to get ready for this big step? If your answer is yes to at least two of these questions read on.

Struggling to find a buyer for your home in a slower market? We speak to Ilford property expert Nina Kaura from Portico about the Crossrail effect and why getting things right first time will get you the best price for your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now