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Ohio Community Creates Christmas For Child With Brain Cancer

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We want to go now to a community outside Cincinnati where they're celebrating Christmas a little bit earlier this year. It all started when 2-year-old Brody Allen was diagnosed with brain cancer and given just two months to live.

MCKENZIE ALLEN: It's unimaginable. I mean, we went into the hospital thinking that it was an inner ear infection and came out with the rarest type of brain cancer that there is.

MARTIN: That's Brody's sister, McKenzie Allen. She was in the room when the doctor delivered the news. She says the family immediately sprang into action trying to imagine how they could make the following weeks the best of his life. So where does Christmas in September come in? Well, Brody loves Christmas, especially the lights.

ALLEN: And he loved it so much that whenever he would get fussy, the only thing that could calm him down was to put him in the car and drive around the neighborhood and look at all of the Christmas lights.

MARTIN: So the Allens decided to put up some Christmas lights, but they didn't have enough. They turned to Facebook, and the responses poured in - donated lights, inflatable decorations, presents, even handwritten Christmas cards. Their neighbors joined in, and soon, the neighborhood was twinkling. McKenzie says she'd never seen her brother so happy.

ALLEN: He loves it, and he just lays in his little red wagon, and he looks up at the Christmas lights and it - you know, he's got this big smile on his face.

MARTIN: There's even going to be a parade - Brody's superhero Christmas parade.

ALLEN: That's all the community. That's all just random people that we don't know - and we're getting to know now, but we didn't know beforehand - that are just reaching out to show how much they love and care about Brody. It's amazing.

MARTIN: She says all of this has brought out the best in her little brother.

ALLEN: And that's who he is. Even in the worst of times where he's been feeling terrible he's still happy, and he'll still stick his tongue out at you and smile at you and blow you a kiss. And that's how I'm going to remember him.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.