COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The recovery of 8-year-old Richard Culliver could be called a multitude of different superlatives: miraculous, incredible, or even unbelievable.
After all, just a few short years back, no one even knew if he'd live a year after the diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor. Now, he's ready to celebrate his 9th birthday.
"He'll talk about when he used to walk, or when he used to do different things," explained Stephanie McMillan, Richard's mother.
Richard was just 7 when he was diagnosed with the tumor. His family was hoping he would make it to Christmas 2012.
"We've been given miracles constantly," said his mother. "The fact that he's here, is a giant one."
Richard went back to school part-time in November 2013.
"He loves school. He doesn't ever want to miss school," said McMillan.
He has been off steroids for nearly a year, so his body isn't puffy like it used to be. The tumor is smaller than it was; but that doesn't mean everything is okay.
"He's still so unstable," explained McMillan. "He does cut himself or hurt himself quite often because he wants to be independent, and when he does that, he might stumble and fall."
The outlook for Richard is much better than it was a year ago.
"Not quite as afraid to make plans a little bit out in the future as we were," said McMillan. "We're going to keep on and see what God has for us."
Richard loves to swim and he also likes when his mom pushes him on the swing at the park.
"To see Richard doing as poorly as he was a year-and-a-half ago and to where he is now, it's amazing," said McMillan.
Even though things are getting better, there is always worry.
"As long as it's inside his head, there is a threat," said McMillan.
Richard's mother said she never gets angry about her son's brain tumor because there would be no point. Instead, they try to make the best of their time together.
And so Richard's journey continues.
For more information: http://www.gofundme.com/8kknok