SANTAQUIN — Each year, the city of Santaquin hosts a children's parade. But this year was a little different. The city came out in support of the smallest grand marshal it's ever had — one who is in the fight of his life. He's a pint-sized cancer fighter complete with his own cape, taking on his disease with superhero strength.
"I'm just going to the hospital," said 4-year-old Caleb Terry. "Always going to the hospital."
Terry was diagnosed with the particularly aggressive form of cancer in December 2012. When this tight-knit community heard about it, they rallied around him.
The last week of July means Orchard Days in Santaquin, and with it, all the festivities, including the children's parade. As the committee was in the planning stage this year, their thoughts turned to Terry.
"That's why we have the super hero theme" said Kevin Schmidt with Santaquin City. "We consider cancer the villain. And we can be on his super hero squad."
Superheroes are Caleb's favorite. His mother, Sara, said believing he's as strong as one of them gets him through the weekly trips to Primary Children's Hospital for chemotherapy. Doctors said Caleb's prognosis is good, but he will need to continue with chemotherapy once a month for three more years.
"I have called him my superhero and it just kind of stuck," she said. "The community heard about him."
Monday night, the community came out in support of the boy, who was also the official grand marshal. Neither the wind nor the rain could keep his sidekicks away or dim Caleb's smile.
In this small town, residents said they see each other as family. They feel it's the least they can do in Caleb's time of need.
"Just thinking about it hurts, for the whole family," said resident Cathie Christensen.
So, at least for one day, Caleb can act just like a normal 4-year-old boy.
"He still has that smile and that strength," his mother said. "I'm just amazed and proud to be his mom."