Alabama Football: Prayers for A Special Tide Fan

Update: As noted in the comments, Mikey passed away early this morning. His family are grateful for the outpouring the Bama Nation have shown during this time. Consider the comments section below as an open thread to express your condolences.

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Alabama football returns to Tuscaloosa today. Some fans are analyzing recruits, depth charts and early practices. Other fans have dusted off their gameday swag and are making plans with family and friends.

For a fan named Mikey, things are a little different. In January, Mikey was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and underwent six weeks of radiation treatment. Initially the results were positive, and Mikey had several good months, including a chance to go to Disney thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Last Saturday, Mikey, was watching his beloved Crimson Tide, wearing his own No. 3 Alabama jersey and pajamas. He got to see Alabama dominate Michigan for a half before he told his parents he was tired and was ready to go to bed. His stepfather Terry noticed he was stumbling a bit on the way to his bedroom.

Sunday morning it became apparent things weren’t going well. Mikey was complaining of having a headache, having issues walking and Terry noticed he couldn’t lift his left arm.  They took Mikey back to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital to learn that the swelling around the tumor in Mikey’s brain was starting to affect his motor skills.  Mikey received treatment to reduce the swelling, but his motor skills continued to decline to the point that he could no longer speak and his pain meds had to be increased.  Mikey’s parents thought they were going to lose him that night.

The bright spot of the week came when some family and friends began spreading the word about Mikey on Facebook and Twitter. The phone number for the hospital was given out, asking that any Alabama players that saw it give Mikey a call.

The Tide responded.

Mikey started receiving calls from players past and present, and his parents could tell he could hear what was going on because he began to perk up. Calls from Barrett Jones, Carson Tinker, Prince Wembley as well as his jersey’s namesake Vinnie Sunseri all seemed to give Mikey strength and boost his will to fight. Vinnie dedicated his season to Mikey.

Later, Nick Saban called and spoke to Mikey’s mom as she lay in bed next to him, and Terry said coach Saban’s voice was so powerful they could all hear him in the room. Mikey definitely heard it too, though the only way they could tell was by his heart monitor as it jumped from 110 beats/minute to 130.

The Bama Nation responded too. Alabama fans and non-fans alike spread the word to keep Mikey in thoughts and prayers. Others took it a step further sending gifts and making calls. One Bama dad arranged to have a digital billboard in Huntsville to give Mikey a special message up in lights, along with the Twitter hashtag #RollTide4Mikey.

“I felt the need to help,” he said, “and that is how I could.”

So today, while we are all watching Alabama battle Western Kentucky, take a moment to think about Mikey, who is fighting his own battle from his hospital bed. Keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers, and say a Roll Tide for Mikey.

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Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Football

  • Dave

    I’m really praying for Mikey. Thanks for the great story.

  • buddy

    Roll tide mickey

  • Brian Fortenberry

    Roll Tide Mikey

  • Alabama Nation

    Constant prayers for Mikey! The whole Alabama Nation will be lifting you up in prayer…..Roll Tide buddy! :)

  • Katie Burnett

    Mikey passed early this morning. He is in a better place now, but his spirit will be with Alabama on the field for the rest of the season for sure. Please pray for his family during this time#RollTideMikey

  • Bettie Lawrence

    Praying for this family may God put his loving arms around them❤❤ The Tide fans and I will Yell for Mickey ROLL TIDE!!!!

  • Alabama Nation

    Prayers and condolences to Mikeys family and friends. Though it’s a mournful day for Alabama Nation, we know Mikey is in a much better place….RIP Mikey!

  • we are Bama

    “To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Roll Tide forever Mikey, and give the Good Lord a “Roll Tide” for all of us down here.

  • Drew Cantrell

    Prayers going out for family. Roll Tide Mikey

  • BBN and RTR

    Prayers to his family – I lost a sibling to a G III after a long battle. More awareness and more research so this is not the future for our loved ones.

  • Susan Graham Reymann

    I’m so sorry to hear this! It breaks my heart he will be in a better place but I know all that knew him and loved him,he will be missed. RIP MIKEY and ROLL TIDE to you! Praying for your family in this time of need.

  • Greg Jones

    This is not the news that I wanted to hear. Very sad. Prayers to Mikey’s family, friends and loved ones. Rest in peace Mikey, ROLL TIDE ROLL little man!

  • Eric Sharp

    My heart goes out to mikeys family. I have a son with renal cancer and Im at childrens alot. It makes me sad to just think how many kids go thru this. Mikey is a hero and every other kid who fights this ugly disease as well. I feel proud as a bama fan that our players care more than just football. R.I.P mikey Roll Tide buddy

  • TisesofWar

    God Bless the Family and Friends, and GodSpeed Mikey

  • BAMA Mike

    I am so sorry to hear that Mikey has passed. I will say a prayer for you that God will send His comfort and peace will be upon you.

  • Dean Chamblin

    Prayers to family and friends! God needed an Angel!

  • Papa Sid

    may the Lord Bless you and Keep you Mikey and may his face shine upon you and give you piece.A-Men…

  • Marc

    R.I.P. Mikey, we know you will be sitting up in heaven next to “The Bear”, watching the game tonight! No more suffering and heartache but lots of love to your family…Roll Tide lil buddy!

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