Eleven-year-old Bryan Thompson, of Macon, Georgia, has been cleared of cancer in less than a year.

Bryan was diagnosed with a rare form of muscle cancer last January when his mother, Vanessa Dennard, took him to the emergency room for a football injury, WNYW reported.

“You hear it happening to others and it hurts you,” said Dennard. “But when it happens to your own it’s a different type of hurt.”

Bryan endured nearly two dozen rounds of chemotherapy and radiation during his treatment at Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital in Macon, Georgia.

One of the biggest challenges Bryan faced was losing his hair. But he said his sister, 16-year-old Aniyah Thompson, always helped him feel better.

Bryan finally got to ring the hospital’s bell as part of a tradition for patients who beat cancer on Wednesday, Dec. 4, according to WMAZ.

“He told me this morning, he said, ‘Mama when I ring that bell, I’m gonna ring it so loud I’m just gonna ring it, ring it, ring it,’ and that’s exactly what he did,” Bryan’s mother told WMAZ.

Bryan also had the chance to light the hospital’s Christmas tree and help chief meteorologist Ben Jones with the weather report as part of the celebration.

He offered a bit of powerful advice for other children facing challenges like his own.

“Stay happy, stay strong, and you’ll get through this,” said Bryan.

Categories: Inspired Stories U.S.