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ANN ARBOR, Michigan (WCMH) – After 12-year-old Grant Reed finished his final chemotherapy treatment a couple weeks ago, he made a new friend; but it’s fairly surprising that the new friend is Michigan coach Brady Hoke.
It’s surprising considering Grant, a lifelong Buckeye fan, nicknamed his cancer “Michigan” and set the goal of beating Michigan.
When NBC4 first reported on Grant’s fight with “Michigan,” Hoke told Sports Illustrated kids that he was wishing Reed well in his fight and said in this rare case he was happy someone “Beat Michigan.”
On Monday, Hoke called Grant and his family at their Bellville home with words of encouragement…and an offer.
Hoke offered the family four tickets to the 2013 Ohio State-Michigan game.
Grant’s father, Troy, said his son did not hesitate to answer the coach. “He gave a very clear yes–he’s very excited,” Troy said.
Hoke did not say where the tickets will be in the stadium, but Troy says it’s no big deal. “Sad to say, in Michigan Stadium there’s no bad seat.”
“There was no way we could have pulled off getting tickets otherwise,” Troy said.
The Rotary Club of Jackson, Michigan has offered to pay for the Reed family’s hotel stay.
Troy says Hoke told Grant that he needs to keep on working hard to beat Michigan and that the two made some small talk on the phone.
“It’s getting hard to keep my dislike for them, because they’ve been so classy and unbelievable to us,” said Troy, who played in the OSU marching band along with his wife, Denise.
“But it won’t be hard to cheer for the Buckeyes in November,” said Troy.
Grant will start back into speech, occupational and physical therapy this week as he continues to recover from some of the lingering effects of his surgery to remove a brain tumor in 2011.
Grant will also be a special guest of the Ohio State Marching Band as he’ll join the band on the floor at St. John Arena for Skull Session August 31 against Buffalo.