CRAWFORDVILLE — Local residents gathered at Legacy Ranch on Friday for a fall festival to raise money for a 4-year-old boy with brain cancer.
Colby Temes, the son of Ashley and Joshua Temes, was diagnosed on May 13, 2021 with medulloblastoma, a brain cancer, when he was under 2 years old.
According to mayoclinic.org, medulloblastoma is a cancerous brain tumor that starts in the lower back part of the brain. This part of the brain is called the cerebellum.
“Medulloblastoma can happen at any age but most often occurs in young children. Medulloblastoma symptoms can happen when the tumor grows or causes pressure to build up in the brain,” according to the Mayo Clinic website.
Colby experienced a troubling health issue. His parents noticed that he would vomit every morning but feel better in the afternoon. While consulting a pediatrician, an MRI revealed he had hydrocephalus, which led to an emergency room visit.
After taking Colby to the emergency room, they received a call that he would undergo surgery to remove an unexpected brain tumor.
Colby was life-flighted to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, where a successful tumor removal surgery took place. He underwent multiple rounds of chemo, requiring the family to stay in Gainesville for more than two months.
When the family returned home, they were required to install a water system to enable Colby to take baths because, following the stem cell transplant, he was susceptible to any disease or sickness.
Ashley Temes, Colby’s mother, says that this has been a harrowing journey for her and her family, but they have learned to take it one day at a time.
“You kind of just learn to live in the moment and take it day by day,” she said. “It is hard being separated from my family, but we try to come home as much as possible and as often as possible.”
Chelsea Mills, the owner of Legacy Ranch, enjoyed hosting events for home-schooling families and thought it would be a great idea to host a fall festival for the Temes family. She met the Temes at her church and wanted to support them.
“With Colby’s diagnosis, we decided that it would be great to do what we could to make it a fundraiser for their journey because we have been so blessed with this, and we wanted to bless others,” Mills said.
The festival was planned within three weeks, but Mills was highly grateful for the turnout and the support in the community.
“I know it was pretty last minute within the last three weeks we were getting it together, but we did what we could to get the word out and were super happy with all the support we have been shown,” she said. “This is our very first event like this ever, so hopefully, it’ll continue to grow, and we can continue to give back and do more for people in our community.”
The event was filled with food trucks, vendors, fall games and activities, face painting, pony rides, and more. Tickets were priced at $8 and $10.