A 2-year-old Ohio boy suffering from inoperable brain cancer probably won’t live to see Christmas. But his family decided to bring the holidays to him, decorating their home with lights, candy canes and polar bears, WCPO reported.
Oncologists in Cincinnati told the parents of Brody Allen in August that the toddler had less than two months to live. What the boy’s doctor originally thought was an ear infection in May was diagnosed as something much worse, as specialists discovered that Brody was born with an aggressive brain cancer that grew into four untreatable tumors, the television station reported.
“In his mind it is just Christmas,” McKenzie Allen, 21, Brody’s sister, told The New York Times. “He woke up one day and the Christmas tree was out. He doesn’t know it isn’t really Christmas. He is just enjoying it.”
"We do Christmas big," Brody’s father, Todd Allen, told WCPO. "For us, it's about family time and those memories and traditions that you can't ever get back."
Todd Allen said his son’s cancer -- embryonal tumor with multilayered rosettes --- is so rare that only 300 other people have been diagnosed with the condition, WCPO reported. Doctors treated the boy for 98 days, but then a fifth tumor was detected. They finally told the family they could not do anything more for him, the television station reported.
So Brody’s parents decided to decorate their home early, and neighbors pitched in, the Times reported. Outside his home, Brody can see a snowman, Santa Claus and inflatable Mickey and Minnie Mouse figures. There is a Christmas tree in the yard of neighbor Barbara Elliott, one of six in Allen’s suburban Cincinnati cul-de-sac that has been decorated for Brody, the newspaper reported.
“I offered Ms. Allen some pull-ups that I had for my grandson who is not potty trained, and she said they weren’t going to bother with potty training Brody, because he had cancer,” Elliott told the Times. “It broke our heart. So I said to my husband, ‘We got stuff, let’s decorate!’”
The Allens discovered many decorations were not for sale in September. Sp they created a Facebook page called Team Brody and asked neighbors for help, the Times reported. The family also started a GoFundMe page in late June and received more than $21,000 in donations.
Todd Allen, an over-the-road truck driver, has stayed home with his son and family. He told WCPO that he plans to take Brody’s remaining time “day by day, moment by moment."
"You guys see him," Allen told the television station. "He's happy. He's enjoying life. That's how we're going to spend our days.”
"He has no idea how sick he is," Todd Allen wrote on the Team Brody page on Facebook. "He doesn't care. He just wants to have fun and enjoy every minute."
The town of Colerain plans to stage a Christmas parade for Brody on Sept. 23, WCPO reported.