This is a
"first-time" experience for the Fall Festival, said Cunningham's mom,
The invitation comes on the heels of Cole's battle with cancer. In December 2011, Cole was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. The tumor was resected, but the doctors could never reach all of the cells, said Melissa.
This past winter, Cole underwent two stem cell transfers. The cells were gathered after an intense chemotherapy treatment and frozen until he was ready to undergo the procedure.
Melissa said he received his own stem cells. The procedure was conducted first in January and again in March. About mid-April he was released from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.
As the Cunninghams passed Hickory Creek School on their way home, Melissa said Cole was so surprised. The students had lined 116th Avenue to welcome him home.
Afterward, word about his experience spread around town.
Cole says he's pretty excited to be the parade marshal. He's never been in the parade before. He and his family will be riding the official float.
"It'll be great for everyone to see me," he said.
The parade steps off at 1 p.m. Sept. 1 at the corner of Ash and Nebraska Streets.
As for Cole's condition, he's in remission now. He's still a long way off from being himself, but he's getting stronger every day.
For more information about Frankfort's Fall Festival, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, view the 2013 Fall Festival website.
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