MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - He's a positive student in his community and he is the senior captain of the lacrosse team at Saint James High School.
Bryant Blackmon excels in school and sports, all while encouraging others, including his mother. However, many don't know the struggles they've shared, struggles his mother says have inspired him to be a positive person.
"I've realized that when you give a 100 percent effort in something, then it's going to pay off," said Saint James senior Bryant Blackmon.
Every day, Bryant says he sets a goal to do his best. He's an honor student, he works part time a local restaurant, he finds time to volunteer for Relay for Life and he participates in high school organizations like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
In addition to all those activities, Bryant also plays the game he loves - lacrosse.
"I think it's the coolest that you can hit, but also do all of this fancy stuff at the same time. It is like a hybrid of sports; it's like really cool," said Bryant.
He is the goalie for his high school team, but also travels and plays with the Myrtle Beach Wave Lacrosse Team.
"We did really good as a second-year program," Bryant said about his high school team. "I think this year will be even better."
No matter what field he steps foot on, Bryant's No. 1 fan, his mother, will be close by.
"She is a really strong person, she's been through a lot but she's a really tough person and I think that's how I feed off of her," he said.
In 2005, doctors declared Rhonda Blackmon was in remission from breast cancer.
"I was 4 years old and I didn't understand a whole lot of it," Bryant recalled. "But when I grew older and realized what she had to go through, that made me look at her with a lot more respect. She's a positive person for what's she's been through."
Then, in 2007, Blackmon's cancer came back.
"So since preschool, he's had to deal with doctor's appointments, surgeries and just wondering is mom going to be okay," she said, trying to hold back tears.
Bryant said some of the struggles they have endured have, in the end, made him look at all the positive moments.
"She'd always go to Florence County or Charleston for her doctor's appointment and I used to ride with her all the time as a kid, and it's like those car rides were like really fun because we'd stop and eat somewhere, and do something cool every time," Bryant said.
Blackmon said Bryant is not a typical kid because of what they have gone through. Still, her son has never complained.
"We had to downsize and he told me, 'Mama, I would much rather live in this little home of ours and have all the laughter and love than have that big old mansion and money,'" she said.
Bryant says it's been tough, but it's his mother's attitude that fuels his energy.
"I think me having this has made him the grand person he is," Blackmon said.