Teen With Spina Bifida Joins Michigan Football Team, Surprised With Trip to Watch Them in Bowl Game
It's a regular field of dreams for a teenager who suffers from spina bifida after his favorite team surprised him with a trip to Florida to watch them play in an upcoming bowl game.
Larry Prout Jr., 15, was signed to the University of Michigan’s football team in October, thanks to Team IMPACT’s “Draft Day.”
The Boston-based non-profit organization “helps improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team,” according to their website.
When Prout was drafted by Michigan, they even held a press conference where he was formally welcomed by head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Harbaugh told the Inside Michigan Football radio show that the players go and visit Prout when he is in the hospital and “the young man has fought through, endured and comes to us with a tremendous attitude.”
He added that having him is a “proud moment for our team.”
Prout, who also suffers from choacal extrophy and 37 different diagnoses and recently underwent his 93rd surgery, has been attending games, practices and team dinners since being drafted.
“It is really an honor to be in the football team,” he told Inside Michigan Football following his draft.
John O’Korn, senior quarterback of the squad said Prout "is a friend for life."
The dream of the teenager from Howell, Michigan, has always been to see his beloved Wolverines play in a bowl game.
Just before Christmas, the team met up with Prout at their athletic center where they circled around the young man and O'Korn asked where he would be watching their upcoming bowl game.
After Prout replied he would be viewing it at home and not in person, O'Korn and the team revealed the good news, shocking the teen.
With the help of Team IMPACT, Prout and his parents will be heading to Florida to watch Michigan play in the upcoming Orange Bowl on December 30 against the Florida State Seminoles.
Prout, who was bound to a wheelchair and had a cast on each leg, beamed with pride and joy that his dream was coming true.
O’Korn handed the young man a swag bag which featured a new hat, T-shirt, sweatshirt and jacket all with the Michigan logo.
He called the gifts “awesome” and was rendered speechless upon hearing the news.