‘The greatest gift:’ Christmas comes early for 2-year-old with terminal cancer

BURLINGTON, Ky. — A family moved Christmas from December to September after learning their 2-year-old son with terminal cancer may only have months to live.

Making their presence known, members of the Boone County Sheriff’s Office and SWAT team showed off their toys for Brody Allen, who even got to sit in the driver’s seat. As cool as it was, they had nothing on the next surprise guest: Santa Claus himself.

As he got closer, Allen was able to see the big guy, who he calls “Ho Ho.”

“To have so many people across the world reach out to my son to tell him ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘we’re thinking about you,’ ‘we love you’ is just the greatest gift that I, as a father, could never give him,” said Todd Allen, Brody’s dad.

Ahead of the celebration, Christmas decorations started going up in Allen’s neighborhood, and cards started coming in the mail.

“We get people wishing him ‘Merry Christmas’ from Belgium, Germany, Russia, Tasmania, Italy, all over the world. It’s crazy, but he loves it,” said Mackenzie Allen, Brody’s sister.

Santa brought Brody and his family a very special gift — a new puppy named Lucy.

While the week was filled with visits, gifts and attention, Mackenzie Allen said each night, the family has quiet time with Brody.

“We still have our private time and it’s great. We sit on the floor and play with his new toys and fall asleep watching movies or talking or giggling or whatever it may be, so we still get that family time,” said Mackenzie Allen.

That’s something Allen’s cancer won’t take from him — the love and support that surrounds this little boy, who has more to look forward to — an upcoming Christmas parade in his neighborhood.