Nightly News   |  December 03, 2013

Heroic boy who battled cancer ‘was just living in the moment’

Hundreds from Ridgewood, N.J., turned out to attend the funeral of a 10-year-old boy who died from a rare form of bone cancer – in his short life, he made a huge impact on the community. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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>>> our final story here tonight is about a huge outpouring for a boy who left a huge mark in and around his new jersey hometown. especially the police officers he looked up to and who he inspired with remarkable bravery in the way he lived his life. we get the story tonight from nbc's kate tur.

>> reporter: more than 100 officers from new jersey's police departments lined the streets of ridgewood this morning, they came to honor 10-year-old michael feeney , known here as chief.

>> he is part of our family.

>> reporter: michael was sworn in as chief for a day at the ridgewood police department back in june, taking on the chiefly duties of reviewing 911 dispatch, signing mountains of forms and making sure that pesky older sisters are properly locked up. last week, michael lost his four-year battle with a rare bone cancer , and though his life was plagued with exhausting treats those who knew michael said nothing could dampen his spirit.

>> michael was able to touch more than most of us will ever do in a 100 years.

>> reporter: he loved the yankees, and politics and got advice from the mayor. to michael , every day was the best day ever .

>> he just seemed to be --

>> you know, none of us know how to live in the moment. so maybe we need to look at kids. he just lived in the moment.

>> reporter: to make sure he got to celebrate, friends and neighbors decorated his house with ornaments, and although today was certainly sad, his classmates chose to remember their friend, michael , as happy, because he was always happy.

>> he touched so many people's lives, everybody loved him.

>> reporter: michael is not just surrounded by his family, but the entire town as ridgewood , new jersey, who will forever know him at their chief.

>> i wish you knew michael , he would be telling us a joke right now and laughing.

>> reporter: kate tur, ridgewood , new jersey.