WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Even in his final days, Ebony Aiken says her son Nasir never lost hope that he'd get healthy again.
“He fought a good fight,” said Aiken. “He kept the faith and he's resting in peace."
Aiken says it’s that fighting spirit that kept her son alive much longer than the three months doctors gave him to live.
"They didn't think he would make it 90 days,” she said. “Next week would have been two years."
Jan. 28 would have marked two years since Nasir was diagnosed with brain stem cancer.
A battle he lost last on Jan. 11, just after turning 13.
"I’m thankful we made it this far,” Aiken said. "I think he was waiting on me to come to peace and come to terms with the reality of the situation."
Nasir had at least six brain surgeries and, at one point, seemed to be doing better.
He was able to walk and talk when FOX8 visited the family for an interview in December 2015.
But eventually, Aiken says the cancer progressed to stage four, and Nasir's body could no longer handle chemotherapy.
“One-fourth of his head was covered in cancer,” the mother said.
He could barely move or speak.
“He was responsive by blinking or squeezing of the right hand,” she said.
But, all the while, Aiken says her son stayed positive.
"He was graceful,” she said. “He was never sad. He never complained."
It’s an attitude Aiken says that has helped her make peace with his death although she says it's still hard to accept.
"I'm waking up and I'm running in there and he's not there,” she said. “Or sometimes I'm calling him and he's not there."
But she says leaning on her faith is helping her get through the tough time.
“When his assignment was done here, God came and got his child,” Aiken said.