This teen has quite the lesson in perserverence to teach us all.
gold medal
2016 Getty Images
| Credit: Getty / Michael Dodge / Stringer

Vincent Gunter Jr. was a regular high school student at Britt High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina when he got a life-changing diagnosis his junior year: The young athlete had a life-threatening tumor on his face, which extended all the way from his jawline to the bottom of his skull.

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Thankfully, on February 21st a complex 12-hour surgery removed the tumor and reconstructed Gunter's face. Ever the positive kid, "VJ" as he is known, told The Fayetteville Observer, "There are a lot of people that will go through situations and always see the negative side of it. But that negative side is always going to bring you down, so you've just got to keep moving forward."

Gunter is a talented athlete and previously competed on both the state and regional level in discus. Shortly after surgery, he was ready to set his sights on the goal of making it to the Junior Olympics in track and field.

We're thrilled a mere six months after the surgery, the unstoppable teenager is, in fact, partaking in the National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships this week in Lawrence, Kansas. "I want to make new friends up there, as well," Gunter said in the Observer. "Let them know what I've been through and inspire them to keep working hard. It's good to see someone go through so much and see them do something positive."

Watch the inspiring student talk about his incredible road to recovery below: