When Renee Koster was four months pregnant, she was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. Now, her 17-year-old son is on a mission to find a cure.

Philip Koster, of Johns Creek, Georgia, participated in the Leukemia &  Lymphoma Society’s Student of the Year campaign, fundraising for research over a six-week period, Fox5 reported. He raised more than $20,000 in that time through donations and creative fundraisers like “The Great Tape Up” where students donated to “tape” a faculty member on a wall.

Renee had a life-threatening relapse a few years after her son was bone and after a bone marrow transplant and three-year battle, she was cancer-free.

“I’m just feel really motivated to give back,” Philip told the news channel.

Last week, he was honored with the Mission Focus Award at the grand finale gala for the Student of the Year campaign in metro Atlanta. The 15 participating students raised $210,285.

“It does make me very, very proud,” Renee told Fox5. “To know that he is raising money to advance research so that we don’t lose more friends… is really very meaningful.”

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