Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with the vandalism of an Ohio family’s Christmas display – a display that the family put up early because their dying son isn’t likely to live to see Christmas.
As NBC News reports, two-year-old Brody Allen is dying of cancer, and isn’t likely to live until December 25. However, like all two-year-olds, the little tot is all about Christmas. So his dad, Todd Allen, put up an early Christmas display in the family’s front yard in suburban Cincinnati.
Unfortunately, teenagers destroyed parts of it, slashing an inflatable Santa and other yard decorations.
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, town police started making sure to drive by the family’s Northbrook home every night since the vandalism. Similarly, neighbors started keeping a close eye on the family’s yard, too. And it worked: a neighbor saw a teenager allegedly damaging the family’s display again, and called the cops.
The good news is that the vandals were caught when a neighbor witnessed the teens in the family’s yard. However, police are not releasing their names or ages because they’re juveniles.
Neighbor Lori McMullen says the arrest shows what a community can do when everyone is on the same page.
“This shows what a great community can do when everyone works together. Northbrook is unstoppable now. All it took was empowering residents with the task of looking out for one another. Merry Christmas.”
Spent time with 2-year-old Brody Allen last night. Brody has terminal cancer and will likely not make it to Christmas, so his family and neighbors brought him Christmas early. This was a tough one. He's such a sweet boy. https://t.co/VrFTPKc6gN— Maddie McGarvey (@maddiemcgarvey) September 15, 2018
However, the community didn’t stop at just helping Brody’s family catch the vandals who destroyed the family’s Christmas display. As WLWT-TV (Cincinnati) reports, the whole town came together to give their dying neighbor his last Christmas.
On Thursday, hundreds of friends, family, and neighbors showed up at the family’s home to sing Christmas carols for the young boy, and to pray for his family, says neighbor Lisa Craig.
“I really think that love conquers all, and for whatever time Brody has left, I think we should celebrate that.”
Clergyman Matt Castleman said the community’s actions demonstrate the true spirit of Christmas, even if it’s only September.
“No one should have to go through this, but if they do, they shouldn’t do it alone.”
PRAYERS FOR BRODY: An Ohio town has eagerly ushered in the holiday season early this year to help a dying toddler celebrate Christmas one last time. Brody Allen, 2, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer in May and stopped treatments in August. https://t.co/JVJ4ygfezh— FOX 32 News (@fox32news) September 14, 2018
Dad Todd Allen says that the love for Brody has extended beyond his town, and even to people who don’t celebrate Christmas.
“People from all over the world are sending me messages in languages I don’t know, sending me prayers in religions I’ve never heard of and just embracing our family in ways I could’ve never imagined.”