Police cars lined the outside of May River High School Wednesday as the Bluffton Police Department gathered to honor their fallen, 16-year-old Michael Mugrage, who lost his battle with cancer last week.

“I loved being his mom. He was the best. Sixteen years was not enough,” Jessica Mugrage told the gymnasium of about 200 people during Michael’s Celebration of Life Ceremony. 

The Mugrage family had just moved to Bluffton from Hawaii last summer and Michael wasn’t having the easiest time adjusting. 

“It was my first year in public school… it was his first year here, and so we just like bonded on that,” said a friend, Margaret Donaldson.

But one day last October, Michael came home from school and his life was never the same. 

“I got a text that he had been diagnosed with cancer,” Donaldson remembered. 

He had a very rare, aggressive cancer called high-risk Rhabdomyosarcoma.

The battle would be long and hard, but his new community would fight for a miracle with him.

Police officers like Joseph Babkiewicz became close with Michael, even gave him a car for his 16th birthday, and made him an honorary officer.

“At some point I had to tell him…. if he doesn’t get a miracle, he needs to know that he has to be the angel up above watching over me and Matthew,” his mom said, “Just like Michael, he said, ‘Well you know, they’re not just gonna make me an angel right away, like I’m gonna have to go to school for that or something like that…. And he asked, ‘How long do you think it’ll take before I get my wings, so I can fly?”

When August 28th came, we learned the miracle would be those wings.

The family asks that any donations be made to help find a cure for childhood cancer through CURE.

However, if you would like to help support the Mugrage family in this time, the community has put together an Amazon Wishlist for day-to-day use item donations. 

In order to donate through Amazon, you will have to log in to your Amazon account. The link is: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/dl/invite/gwq4fG5. These donations go straight to the Mugrage house. 

There are also several places in the Lowcountry collecting items such as toiletries and household products. 
They are: 
Platinum Design…840 William Hilton Pkwy
Cloud 9 Vapor Lounge…32 Palmetto Bay Rd
Palmetto Pediatrics of the LowCountry…4 Okatie Center Blvd South Suite 201
CannonFit…38 Sheridan Park Circle Hours are M-F 7am -12pm / Mon and Thur 530pm – 7pm
JLK Events…Riverwalk Business Park…484 Browns Cove Rd Hours M-F 9am-4pm
River Ridge Academy…3050 River Ridge Drive, Bluffton
Burn Bootcamp…270 Red Cedar Street Suite 103