On Sunday, an entire community filled the streets leading to a small cul-de-sac in northwest Ohio for a festive celebration.
It featured everything a little boy’s heart could desire, from superheroes and bounce houses to fire trucks and balloons. But the best thing of all was watching the parade roll through the streets, the Big Guy himself, Santa Claus, waving from one of the vehicles in the procession.
Santa Claus? In September?
The special day was organized for Brody Allen, a 2-year-old who was born with brain cancer but didn’t start showing symptoms until May. Despite aggressive chemotherapy treatments, the cancer didn’t respond, and doctors told his parents last month that their toddler son probably had only a couple months left to live.
Since he wouldn’t live to see Christmas, Todd, Barbara and Brody’s 21-year-old sister, McKenzie, decided to celebrate early and created a Facebook page, asking people in their Colerian Township neighborhood to donate Christmas decorations.
But the Colerian community didn’t just heed that call. They came out and helped the Allens decorate, then strung their own houses with lights, even taking down their fall decorations and replacing them with snowflakes and poinsettias.
As word of the family’s plight began to spread, so did the early Christmas cheer, and the yards in and around their small cul-de-sac were soon sporting candy canes, Santa Claus inflatables and other holiday fare. Knowing it’s her son’s last Christmas makes it especially emotional, mom Shilo said, but, “I love seeing the joy in his eyes. We did it to make him happy.”
In the days since the story gained national attention, Brody has been inundated with well wishes from around the county, with Christmas cards and gifts flooding into the family home from afar. The mass show of support culminated with Sunday’s parade, which saw hundreds of families come out to give Brody a holiday season to remember…
“We needed to get involved because he lives in our neighborhood,” said one of those area neighbors, Amanda Beckman. “We just wanted to do something to make this really special for them, because they are going through a hard time.”
A small snippet of the #ChristmasinSeptember parade for #TeamBrody in Colerain Twp. Hundreds of people have lined Springdale Road to celebrate an early Christmas for 2yo Brody who has terminal brain cancer. @DanGriffinWLWT has the story tonight @WLWT pic.twitter.com/QUby5c8TOa
— Emily Wood (@EmilyWoodWLWT) September 23, 2018
What an incredible show of support for a family going through such a dark period in their lives. Everyone who answered the call to make this sweet boy’s last Christmas extra special should be commended, and we hope news of this community pulling together for one of their own inspires other compassionate acts around the world.
Share to thank everyone for making Brody’s last Christmas extra special.