Christmas comes early for terminally ill two-year-old

2018-09-20 16:00
Photo: (CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

Photo: (CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

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Christmas has come early for a terminally ill two-year-old boy, after neighbours rallied to bring festive magic to the final weeks of his life.

After being diagnosed with embryonal brain cancer – an extremely rare brain tumour – in May, Brody Allen from Ohio, US endured several months of gruelling chemotherapy treatment before doctors told his family there was nothing more they could do.

Two weeks ago doctors gave Brody – who has five incurable tumours intertwined in his brain stem – just two months to live.  

Realising their beloved Brody wouldn’t live to see Christmas, mom Shilo and the rest of the Allen family decided to bring the festive season forward by decorating the inside and outside of their home with bright lights, inflatable figures and bellowing Christmas music.

“Christmas has always been a very special time for our family,” Brody’s sister Mackenzie said.

“When we knew Brody wasn’t going to make it to Christmas this year, we decided to make it come early and bring it to him.

“Knowing how much he enjoyed Christmas last year, we had to do it for him – we wanted to pack in as many happy memories with him before he leaves.”

Struggling to find enough Christmas decorations in September to complete their vision, the Allen family set up a Facebook page, Team Brody, asking neighbours and members of their town for their festive lights.

Incredibly, not only were the Allen’s gifted with an abundance of fairy lights and tinsel but their neighbours began decorating their homes too.

“We realised we didn’t have [many decorations], so we asked if anyone had any extras they’d be willing to donate – and it just exploded from there.

“We got so many donations, Christmas cards and presents – it was all so incredible,” Mackenzie said.

Soon, the entire street was revelling in the festive illusion.

boy

“Brody doesn’t know it’s not actually Christmas or that this is all just for him.

“He just woke up one day, saw all of the lights and has been in awe ever since.

“He loves sitting in his wagon and looking at the lights at night; he loves opening all the presents and mail he’s receiving.

“Everything everyone has done for us means the world.

“The greatest gift they’ve given us is strength – strength when we needed it the most,” she said.

On 5 May, Brody woke up at home feeling extremely dizzy and soon wasn’t able to walk.

Rushing him to the hospital and believing the issue to be an ear infection, Shilo was soon given the devastating news by doctors, who confirmed Brody was suffering from a rare type of cancer.

After the toddler endured several months of chemotherapy, a follow-up scan on 4 August confirmed the family’s worst fears – the treatment had been unsuccessful and there was nothing more doctors could do.

“When we realised the treatment had failed, it was hard for all of us – including the doctors.

“Brody had taken to the chemo so well, so it was such a shock to find out it hadn’t worked.

“However, we had to push that aside and make the most of our time with Brody,” she said.

Determined to make the last few weeks of his life as special as possible, Mackenzie and the rest of her family will be sitting down for Brody’s final Christmas dinner on 25 September.

 “He’s been so strong through all of this and he’s really what inspires us to be strong,” Mackenzie said.

“I can’t begin to explain how much everyone’s support has meant to our family.

“This is the worst time in our lives, and instead of focusing on the even worse moments ahead, we’re able to focus on the happy ones now – and that’s all thanks to complete strangers.

boy

“So many have touched our hearts in ways we can’t repay.

“All I can say is a huge thank you to everyone.

“You’ve given my baby brother the best Christmas ever and given us as a family a support system that’s worldwide.”

Source: Magazine Features

Pictures: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA                                

Read more on:    us  |  cancer  |  good news

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