BUTTE, Mont. -- It's not too often that a town has its very own superhero. But Butte has got one, and his name is Hulk.
Michael Schow Jr., 7, has already fought so much through his young life, and his battle with terminal cancer could be his last. But the love he's received from his family, his favorite first responders, and the community has been the only word fitting for a Hulk: incredible.
Ever since he was 3 years old, Hulk's fight with cancer has been constant.
"As far as treatment goes," he's had 15 different surgical procedures," Michael Schow Sr., Hulk's father, said. "He's been on chemotherapy. Over four years, he was off chemo for just nine months."
His family received the worst news possible earlier in November, when doctors told them that Hulk was terminal, giving him between two and eight weeks left to live.
But Hulk has made the most of every moment so far, and his family intends to keep it that way for the rest of his life.
"Our philosophy is that, for every minute that he had a crappy time, we would give him two minutes of going out and having fun," Schow said. "We've got to go to so many places that he loved to go. We visited all the different fire stations and police stations and all that when we're out of town."
"He's fought so hard for so many years and never complained--always had his thumbs up" Schow continued. "He's lived a full life, even though it was really short."
And the community has been a critical part of Hulk's story. From his relationship with local police and firefighters, to a fundraiser earlier this year to pay for treatment, to his very own parade line through downtown, Hulk and the Mining City go hand in hand.
"I would say I'm surprised, but I'm really not surprised," Schow said. "This is Butte: the best place I've ever lived. And I've lived in many different places across this country."
"With all the support and the love and everything, it just shows exactly who we are," Schow added.
Like Batman's impact on Gotham, or Superman's on Metropolis, Hulk's heroics in his hometown of Butte won't soon be forgotten.
The Schows are already extremely grateful for the support that others have shown, but if you want to give this young superhero a little more reinforcement, you can donate to the family's GoFundMe, linked here.