Brody Allen: Family and a Christmas to remember.
Two-year-old Brody Allen won’t reach Dec. 25, oncologists at Children’s Hospital predicted in August. His parents are determined to give him a Christmas anyway.
That’s why candy canes, polar bears and a festive Mickey Mouse sprouted in their front yard before fall officially began, and it’s why Brody’s embroidered stocking hangs inside a home still humming with air conditioning.
“We do Christmas big,” father Todd Allen said. “For us, it’s about family time and those memories and traditions that you can’t ever get back.”
Brody was born with the aggressive brain cancer that bloomed into four untreatable tumors by the time his parents noticed something was wrong. Their active, happy child, who could already squeak out a passionate “Who dey,” suddenly became very dizzy in May, Allen said; he struggled to stand and listed to the left when he did.
Doctors at Children’s Hospital diagnosed him with the cancer, which Allen said only 300 other people have ever been known to have. They treated him for 98 days but eventually told the family they had reached the end of their ability to help. Brody’s four tumors had become five, and he likely had fewer than three months left to spend with the people who loved him.
Allen plans to take that time “day by day, moment by moment,” he said. He’s stayed home from his job as an over-the-road truck driver to ensure Brody has everything he wants or needs, including Christmas in September.
“You guys see him,” Allen said. “He’s happy. He’s enjoying life. That’s how we’re going to spend our days. … I work every day to make him happy.”
Some of the family’s friends and neighbors have joined Team Brody, too, by decorating their homes with Christmas lights and donating money to the family while Allen remains on leave from work.
Allen said he had “no idea” how his family would have managed the months since Brody’s diagnosis without community support.
Despite doctors’ predictions, the Allens don’t really know how much time they have left with Brody. Whether it’s another week or another month, they want to make sure they give him the most joyful, loving life possible.
“He has no idea how sick he is,” Todd Allen wrote in a Facebook post. “He doesn’t care. He just wants to have fun and enjoy every minute.”