Michael Hood looks like most of the other 10-year olds walking around the halls of Prescott South Middle School.
When you talk to Michael, he greets you with a firm hand shake and looks you square in the eye. Throughout your conversation he always starts his answers with “yes sir” and “no sir.”
Michael’s favorite superhero is Spiderman. He said he loves to play his Xbox and his favorite game is Rainbow Six Siege. He likes playing Got Got Ball with his friends on the playground during recess.
Michael’s favorite food is spaghetti and his favorite desert is strawberry cheesecake. He enjoys playing with all of his animal toys. Michael also likes playing Monopoly and Trouble in his free time.
The difference with Michael is what’s going on inside of him.
Michael has stage four hepatoblastoma. Hepatoblastoma is a rare form of liver cancer that is diagnosed in fewer than one million children, according to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
PSMS Football Coach Corey French overheard a few other teachers talking about Michaels condition one day at school.
“I think I found out (about Michael) by accident,” French said. “I’m kind of nosey… You know how God talks to you. You feel it and you can’t stop. He just flipped a switch and we started going this direction.”
Thursday night the PSMS Bulldogs play the Jackson County Blue Devils. This is Prescott’s third and final home game of the season. Thursday’s game is also eighth grade night at the school.
Michael dressed out for the PSMS football team and returned the opening kickoff 99-yards for a touchdown.
French and Principal Trey Upchurch hope it is a night to remember for Michael and his family.
“I’ve said it all year long this group of eighth graders are pretty special,” Upchurch said. “Any group that would give up their eighth-grade night and shift the focus to Michael says a lot about who (our eighth graders) are. To do it with such passion. They are all super pumped. (Our football team) presented Michael with a jersey last week. That was honestly the happiest I have seen them. Even happier than when they have won football games. They were so excited and every one of them knew their purpose for being there. You could see the similes on their faces and the smile on Michaels face.”
Michael said his older brother used to play football and it is because of his brother that he likes football so much.
The night did not end for Michael after the opening kickoff. Life Church brought three -bounce houses and Strouds Barbecue catered a meal for Michael and the other students.
At halftime Michael’s #1 jersey was retired. Never to be worn again by a PSMS football player.
“(Michael) got to come back out at halftime and have everybody wish him a happy birthday,” French said. “What he has done is miraculous. Who he is, is amazing, thanks for being you. Thanks for educating us. Thanks for letting us love you. Thanks for letting us celebrate with you.”