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Brody Allen, toddler whose cancer battle brought Colerain Township community together, dies

'Our son has touched the face of God'
Posted at 12:06 PM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-19 23:36:11-04

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Brody Allen, a 2-year-old with terminal brain cancer whose prognosis inspired his hometown to celebrate Christmas early, died Friday morning.

Brody's father, Todd Allen, posted the news on Facebook.

"This morning at 6 a.m. Brody passed quietly, and peacefully in the arms of his mother Shilo," he wrote. "He did not suffer. He was surrounded by his family and I have no doubt many angels. While our sadness is immeasurable and we will miss his smiling beautiful soul, we are also comforted in knowing that today our son has touched the face of God."

Although Brody was born with the cancer that would eventually grow into five untreatable brain tumors, he didn't begin to display symptoms until May, his father said.

By then, doctors at Children's Hospital could do little to help. They treated him for 98 days before informing his parents that Brody likely had fewer than three months left.

Knowing their son would not be able to celebrate a second Christmas with them Dec. 25, Shilo and Todd Allen moved the holiday forward. They decorated their house with lights, ornaments and presents, and they inspired neighbors to do the same.

By the end of September, Team Brody encompassed a significant portion of the Colerain community.

"There are certain arenas and certain things a community can come together about," Colerain Township Police Department spokesman Jim Love said. "Innocent young lives. You saw that in this community."

Hundreds of people lined the township's streets to put on a Christmas parade in which Brody rode a float before celebrating 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."

After the big parade and party, the family privately celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas. According to Todd Allen, reading Christmas cards to Brody from well-wishers became a prominent part of the family's daily routine. 

Colerain Township officials on Friday established a location for well-wishers to leave memorials at Drew Campbell Memorial Park, next to the administrative building at 4200 Springdale Road. All items left there will be given to the Allen family, police said.

"It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Brody Allen," police said in a news release. "Brody captured our attention and love over the past few months as he and his family bravely battled the disease that has ultimately taken his life."

Services for Brody are being finalized and will occur at the end of next week, according to police. Donations can be made to the official Brody Allen Gofundme page in lieu of flowers or gifts.