AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – You wouldn’t know it by the look of his near perfect dives, but 14-year-old Elijah Harper just recently started diving. In fact, he just picked up the sport four months ago after years of gymnastics.

Elijah’s diving coach, Taylor Epstein, has been working with him since he started.

“On a scale of 1-10 on how easy it was to transition him from gymnastics to diving, I would say he’s around 7.5-8,” Epstein said. “He’s able to jump. He knows the flipping. That comes easy to him.”

The Ellet Freshman recently competed in his first district meet. While he didn’t make the cut to advance, Elijah and his family still considers this a win because of what he endured nearly seven years ago.

Elijah’s mom, Pepin Harper, remembers that life-changing day like it was yesterday.

“Something was off. His balance was off. He was getting headaches here and there,” Pepin said.

“I was dizzy. My head hurt,” Elijah recalls.

Elijah’s mom rushed him to the hospital thinking her son had a concussion, but the diagnosis turned out to be more serious.

“They ran me through a CT scan and then they found a mass in my head,” Elijah said.

A brain tumor a little bigger than the size of an egg called medulloblastoma was pressing up against Elijah’s cerebellum and his brain stem.

“I thought I was going to die,” Elijah said.

“(Elijah’s) spinal Fluid would’ve been shut off within days. He would’ve been dead within days,” Pepin said.

Elijah had emergency surgery. Thankfully, doctors at Akron Children’s Hospital successfully removed the cancerous tumor.

No cancer cells were left behind. Elijah started six weeks of radiation in Chicago and a year of chemotherapy back home. Then came the rehab.

“I had to teach him pretty much how to walk again,” Pepin recalls of the days after surgery.

After a year of treatment and multiple scans later, Elijah was and still is cancer-free.

“He shouldn’t be here right now. He’s a miracle,” Pepin said.

Elijah’s journey of beating cancer has become an inspiration to many.

“I’m inspired by his story and I’m just a coach,” Epstein said. “He’s overcome more than any of us will ever get to experience.”

“If I didn’t have a brain tumor then I probably wouldn’t be as strong as I am now,” Elijah said.