PARRIS ISLAND, South Carolina (WJW) – A teen from Ohio has earned the title of honorary Marine. Sam Short, 16, has been battling spinal cancer since 2018. It’s been a lifelong dream to become a Marine. So, Make A Wish gave him the chance to make that dream come true.

He went through Marine Corps boot camp in South Carolina.

Sam was 12 when he started having trouble walking and keeping his balance. That’s when doctors found a tumor on his spine and neck. The tumor was removed during surgery, but the cancer aggressively returned within the year Sam told FOX News.

“We live scan to scan,” Sam’s mom Tori Short said.

“The spirit of Semper Fidelis provides a powerful emotional inspiration for these Make A Wish kids who see their wish a turning point in their often successful battles to overcome illness,” Make A Wish spokesperson Jono Smith told FOX News.

Sam went through a shortened, two-day boot camp, which usually lasts 13 weeks. In the thick of it, he had a big smile on his face.

‘He was so happy there,” Mom Tori said.

The Marines held a special ceremony for Sam after boot camp. He received his Eagle, Globe and Anchor – the U.S. Marine Corps emblem, which all graduating recruits receive. He was also named an honorary Marine.

Sam is undergoing a second round of chemotherapy after finishing radiation treatment in March.