Two-Year-Old Has Just Weeks to Live, So Neighborhood Decorates for Christmas Early


Celebrating Christmas any time except, well, Christmastime always seemed silly to me. Like, what in the world is up with the whole “Christmas in July” phenomenon?

To me, it seems like nothing more than an excuse for various companies to spike their sales during the summer doldrums. But there’s at least one unseasonable celebration of Christmas occurring in Colerain Township, Ohio, that I wholeheartedly approve.

This chronologically displaced Yuletide started with little Brody Allen. Just a month or so ago, the 2-year-old started having problems with his ear.

According to WKRC, doctors initially thought the boy was dealing with a series of nasty ear infections. But that wasn’t little Brody’s problem.

As doctors started to investigate, they found a mass in his brain. And another one. And another one. And yet another one.

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Brody had cancer, and a particularly horrible type at that. He was suffering from ETMR (i.e., embryonal tumor with multilayered rosettes), a highly aggressive form of the disease that usually only afflicts young children.

CBS News reported that Brody’s family immediately started treatment, but after multiple months of chemotherapy, he wasn’t improving.

Worse yet, a fifth tumor had appeared. That was when the Brody’s family had to face the awful truth: Their adorable toddler didn’t have long to live.

“He knows that he can’t walk any more and he knows that he can’t use his left arm anymore, but that’s about it,” his 21-year-old sister, McKenzie, told CBS. “He gets aggravated that he can’t run around, but he taught himself how to crawl again.”

The prognosis is grim. When the boy stopped receiving treatments on Aug. 4, he was expected to have about two months to live, CBS reported.

Brody loved experiencing the only Christmas he can remember, and one of the hardest parts of his disease is that he won’t likely live to see another one. The Allens asked if anyone would donate decorations so they could deck out their home early and started making it Christmas in September.

“(We’re) giving Brody a wish, and that is to have Christmas,” his dad, Todd, told WKRC. “He’s not going to make it to Christmas, so we want to do it now.”

That sparked something in their community, with neighbors stringing their houses with lights and strangers sending Brody Christmas cards. An inflatable Santa appeared in a nearby yard.

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“I showed him last night, and he’s just like, ‘Wow! Ohh!’” his mother, Shilo, told WKRC. “(He) called Santa ‘Ho, Ho, Ho.’”

The most amazing thing about this Christmas celebration is that it occurred spontaneously. No one tried to organize it.

Ryan Miller of Cincy Xmas Lights was shocked by the display.

“Christmas came early, and it’s awesome to see everybody stepping up in the community,” he told WKRC. “I came last night, and this was the only house lit up. I came today, and I was like, ‘Wow. This is awesome.’”

The whole thing has delighted young Brody. His family said that all the decorations thrill him.

“Every day he wakes up and he has the Christmas lights outside and the tree inside and he is so happy,” McKenzie told CBS. “He’s ecstatic.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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