A Sammamish teen who is fighting brain cancer has helped raise nearly $500,000 to speed up cancer research for other kids trying to overcome a devastating diagnosis.

“We really wanted to share my story and make a difference,” said Sam Taylor, 14, who was diagnosed with brain cancer just a few days before Christmas in 2014.

The disease could have defeated the Sammamish teen. But he chose to retaliate. Almost immediately, Taylor's family and friends started raising money, not for themselves, but for this fight.

They started small. There was a basketball tournament, a cookie sale, car washes, and a local Girl Scout troop raised money. Together, these seemingly small gestures soon added up to an impressive sum and now, nearly three years later, they're nearing the $500,000 mark.

“It was very hard and a shocking diagnosis, but this was really something that allowed me to push through,” Taylor said.

Sam's foundation, Strong4Sam, helped purchase a robot for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, which drastically speeds up testing for cancer patients so researchers can focus on finding a cure.

Sam's doing pretty well these days. He's been off chemotherapy for a year and a half. His tumor isn't growing, and while that might not always be the case, for now, he prevails.

“I've kind of not fully defeated this, but I've overcome this. I'm stronger because of it,” he said.