CHAPEL HILL, NC --David Owens of Chapel Hill, North Carolina has been battling cancer since he was diagnosed at the end of 8th grade, but he still managed to graduate from high school with a perfect GPA.
"I wasn't going to let all that stuff that was happening hold me back," he said.
He and his mom spent his entire high school career in and out of UNC Children's Hospital.
"I was super afraid that I was going to die," he said. "I'll never be able to do all the things I dreamed about doing when I get older."
But David is a fighter.
"Because of the type of tumor he has, there is no end date. His doctors are doing whatever comes up - they're working with it and keeping him alive," said David's mother Arlene.
He's had radiation, brain surgery, two spinal surgeries, two bone marrow transplants, and he's on his second round of chemo - and through it all, he never gave up on his dream.
"I want to be a marine biologist," he said.
And he kept doing his school work.
"He's very dedicated to his work. As soon as he feels a little bit good, his teacher will come," said he mother.
And this past March, David graduated with a GPA higher than 4.0. So now what?
"I still want to be a marine biologist. I haven't given up on that," he said.