COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Todd Allen said he believes the community’s love for his 2-year-old son, Brody, is what kept him smiling his last two months of life.
Todd Allen and his wife thanked the public for their support in a Wednesday morning press conference less than a week after Brody died of brain cancer. Later in the evening, more than 100 people joined them in a candlelight vigil for the toddler.
Watch the conference in the player below:
Brody's cancer was so aggressive the last two and a half months of his life that doctors said he should have never been able to crawl, his father said.
"They had no medical explanation for it," Todd Allen said. "I have an explanation, and that’s based on my faith. I believe all of the prayers and love that was sent across the world to him helped him, and helped us, and helped him enjoy his final months."
Todd Allen said the family decided to donate Brody's brain to science in the hopes medical professionals can learn more about his cancer.
"They may not be able to cure his, because it is so rare, but it's so aggressive maybe they're able to find something out and help someone out along the way," Todd Allen said.
Hundreds of people lined the streets of Colerain Township in September to put on a Christmas parade for Brody after doctors said he wouldn't live long enough to celebrate on the holiday.
Neighbors decorated their homes, Brody rode a float in the parade and he got to celebrate at a party with Santa Claus and fireworks.
"He was so happy, Brody’s sister, McKenzie Allen, said that day. "It was amazing. Not just for him, but for everybody."
Brody’s funeral, which will take place Saturday at First Church of Christ in Burlington, Kentucky, will also be partially open to the public. Allen said the family plans for a public visitation from 9 to noon followed by a short public service.
In lieu of flowers or donations, Todd Allen asked that people donate a small toy or book to a child at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
“Children’s Hospital has played an amazing part of our life the past six months for Brody, and we’d like to give back to all of those kids who are unable to leave the hospital,” Todd Allen said.