Neighbors who have come together to celebrate Christmas early for a dying 2-year-old boy in Ohio said they won’t let the alleged actions of a few vandals stop them from spreading the holiday spirit for him.
Perry Matten, a Colerain Township resident who has put inflatable decorations out for Brody Allen, who was given weeks to live after stopping treatment for a rare brain cancer, said he’s had to patch up the decorations twice so far.
“It’s nice seeing the love, but then you got that 0.1 percent that want to kind of ruin it for that little boy, and I just don’t get it, just cowards,” Matten told WCPO.
The boy’s father, Todd Allen, echoed Matten and said “you can’t break Christmas.”
The neighborhood has been decked out in Christmas lights and all that comes with the holiday season since earlier this month, after Brody’s family put out the call for help on social media.
Brody’s illness began with a fall, which doctors suspected may have been related to an inner ear infection, but led to a stay at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where scans revealed a tumor on his brain stem. He was eventually diagnosed with Embryonal Tumor with Multilayered Rosettes, which are fast-growing tumors that form in the brain and spinal cord.
Treatment failed to slow the tumors’ growth, and the family shared on their GoFundMe page that they decided to stop chemotherapy, allowing him to live his final weeks at home.
“When Brody’s chemo treatment journey ended, we made a promise to each other that we were going to make each and every single day that he had left better than the next,” McKenzie Allen, the boy’s 21-year-old sister, told CBS News at the time. “And we wanted to do everything that we could and give him as much joy and happiness that we could, even though he only has a short time left.”
Brody can’t walk anymore, and he’s lost the use of his left arm, but his family said seeing the Christmas decorations from the comfort of his wagon has helped lift his spirits.
Since going public with their plea, cards and gifts have been flooding the Allen home for the boy, who is the youngest of six siblings. But according to Todd Allen and Matten, a few rogue vandals have threatened to ruin the spirit, which they won’t allow to happen.
“We’ll fix it again… we’re just doing it because that little boy should be happy the rest of the time he’s here on earth,” Mattan told WCPO.
Brody’s mom, Shilo Allen, has been sharing photos and videos of her son enjoying the lights and reading cards sent to the home on their "TEAM BRODY" Facebook page.