Two teenagers are under arrest after police said the pair slashed Christmas decorations that had been set up for a child with terminal cancer to celebrate the holiday one last time.
The incident took place in the Cincinnati suburb of Colerain Township, where police say the two juveniles slashed the decorations set up on the family’s lawn. As NBC News reported, a neighbor caught the boys destroying the decorations and alerted police.
They decorations were set up for 2-year-old Brody Allen, who is diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer. The boy’s parents put a series of inflatable Christmas figures on the lawn, including Santa Claus, to celebrate the holiday. Doctors said the boy may not make it until the end of December, and his family wanted to make the time he had remaining special.
As WLWT reported, the community had come together to help the boy celebrate the holiday one last time. Some people in the community even came to the family’s house to sing Christmas carols to the boy.
“I really think that love conquers all, and for whatever time Brody has left, I think we should celebrate that,” neighbor Lisa Craig told WLWT.
Neighbors did more than support the family. Many others on the family’s street have also decorated their houses with Christmas decorations.
It was perfect for the boy who loved the lights and decorations of Christmas, family members said.
“In his mind it is just Christmas,” McKenzie Allen, Brody’s sister, told the New York Times. “He woke up one day and the Christmas tree was out. He doesn’t know it isn’t really Christmas. He is just enjoying it.”
Community leaders said they didn’t want Brody to be alone in the difficult time.
“No one should have to go through this, but if they do, they shouldn’t do it alone,” said Matt Castleman, pastor of Crossroads Westside.
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
It has not just been the community that has been turning out. Todd Allen, the toddler’s father, told WLWT that the family has received supportive messages from all over the world, with well wishes and prayers in all languages being sent.
The boy’s story also garnered national attention, with a number of news outlets sharing his story and describing the lengths the community has gone to make his remaining time special.
Police have not named the teenagers arrested for destroying the Christmas decorations. It was not clear exactly what charges they faced.