DETROIT, MI (WDIV/CNN) – When you spot Robby Heil on the sidelines of a Novi High football game, he’s usually helping out with the water bottles, and wearing No. 24.
But on Friday. Robby and the team surprised his mother, Debbie Heil, with a particularly memorable play.
The senior, a special-needs student, had always dreamed of scoring a touchdown, and that’s just what he did.
Debbie Heil had no idea it was coming. She thought she was just going to get the chance to see Robby in uniform for a team picture.
But after the Heil family learned that Debbie has advanced cancer, the Novi Wildcats decided to give the proud mom a moment of victory.
With a time-out, Novi’s new star took the field to a roaring crowd, and with the hike, No. 24 got the ball and ran 20 yards.
Even the rival team took some time to honor Robby, giving him a No. 1 jersey.
His mom broke down in tears as she witnessed Robby’s dream come true. She came into the huddle, amazed by what she had just witnessed.
“This team has been instrumental in helping me get him to practice while I’m in chemo,” Debbie Heil said. “It takes a village to raise my son, and this village has really been outstanding.”
Wildcats Head Coach Jeff Burnside said Robby has given to the team, as well.
“No matter how bad a day he’s having, it’s a smile from ear to ear, and the opportunity to put that helmet on tonight, it brought tears to my eyes tonight, and tears all over the place,” Burnside said.
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