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Local boy to take part in broadcast
Event benefits Aflac Cancer Center
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Forsyth County News

At a glance

The 10th annual Care-a-Thon show will run from 5 a.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday on WSB 750 AM, broadcasting the voices of patients and families, while raising money for the Aflac Cancer Center of Children's Hospital of Atlanta.

At 5 years old, Drew Temple has earned a title that's rare for his age. He's a cancer survivor.

The Sharon Elementary kindergartner has been visiting the Aflac Cancer Center of Children's Hospital of Atlanta since he was a month old for testing, therapy and now just check-ups.

The Temple family will talk about their experiences Thursday and Friday on the 10th annual Care-a-Thon radio show.

Temple's mom, Michelle, said she hopes to offer encouragement to others going through similar situations.

She also hopes her son will get a chance to say something "cute" if he doesn't get too shy.

Another Forsyth County child and cancer center patient, 20-month-old Aadita Parekh, was also invited to appear on the show. But her mother, Mu, said they had to cancel due to doctor appointments.

While Aadita Parekh will have some difficulties for the rest of her life, her mom said she is currently tumor-free and off treatment.

Having a child go through cancer can be scary, but both Forsyth families learned a great deal through the battles.

Doctors discovered a Wilms tumor on Drew Temple's kidney when he was an infant.

"As first-time parents, you do not expect anything like this to happen," Michelle Temple said. "If this was fated to happen, we certainly got lucky."

Since the tumor was found in stage one, surgery to remove it and six months of chemotherapy led to clean test results.

For five more years, the Temples prayed and continued to receive good results from each test. This summer, Drew was officially classified as a cancer survivor.

Michelle Temple said since he was so young, her son doesn't have any direct memories of his battle.

"He does know that something important has happened, that he has passed a big hurdle," she said.

Drew Temple recently started kindergarten, adding riding a school bus to his list of accomplishments.

His mother said the experience has led the family, which now includes a younger brother, to appreciate the little things in life.

Mu Parekh, Aadita's mother, said her family has learned to ignore life's petty concerns after helping their only child through her fight with a rare form of liver cancer.

At 9 months, Aadita was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma.

Her mother had, ironically, just quit her job with the American Cancer Society to stay home with her daughter, who was growing sicker.

Cancer was an unexpected culprit, Mu Parekh said, and one that was difficult to help a baby get through.

"She couldn't speak, so she couldn't tell us specifically where it hurt," she said.

Aadita Parekh underwent four rounds of chemotherapy and a liver resection surgery that successfully removed the tumor.

Despite tough treatments, sometimes lasting days at a time, the parents saw strength and light in their daughter.

After her surgery and the anesthesia wore off, Mu Parekh said the child started dancing in the bed, one of her favorite activities.

Aadita Parekh will never be "out of the danger zone," her mother said, but she fights through it each day with a smile on her face.