Some of Brandywine’s THON members extended their support for childhood cancer right before THON weekend on Tuesday, February 18by participating in the welcome home celebration for Brayden Chandler, a 3-year-old terminally ill boy from Springfield, PA.
Brayden was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms Tumor in early 2013. After battling for a little more than a year, doctors advised Brayden’s parents that the cancer has relapsed and “there is no further course of treatment to pursue.”
Brayden was coming home from his weeklong trip to Disney World, sponsored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Once arriving at the Philadelphia Airport, Brayden and his family hopped into a limo and enjoyed the escort home of more than 50 police cars and fire trucks.
All sirens were blaring, but not for any type of emergency. Brayden apparently loves loud noises, so the sirens of the police vehicles were nothing short of a sweet ending to a Disney vacation.
The limo and police escorts arrived home to more than 200 community members eager to cheer on and celebrate his return from his trip, and to encourage him to keep fighting his courageous battle.
The entire community stood outside his home and all down his block for almost two hours, eagerly waiting is arrival.
When Brayden’s father first stepped out of the limo with Brayden in him arms, the 3-year-old was understandable very overwhelmed. Soon after, a smile appeared as he realized all the love and support he has behind him.
“It was very overwhelming to see the entire community coming together to love and support our son,” Jackie Chandler, Brayden’s mother, said. “Over the last 2 weeks we have been on an emotional roller coaster and it was nice to see everyone send their unconditional love and support during a time when we need it the most.”
After the crowd slowly dispersed, the Chandler family allowed people to come into their home to offer words of care. The Brandywine THON representatives introduced themselves to the family, ensuring them that THON and the entire Brandywine community are there for them for support.
Our famous ‘Hello Brandywine!’ neon shirts, and different THON gear was also given to them as gifts.
“It’s heartwarming that so many people can come together for one child,” Ryan Stone, from Brandywine’s THON , said.
Brandywine THON would like to encourage all members of the Brandywine community to ‘Like’ the Brayden’s Buddies Facebook page, (www.facebook.com/braydenchandlerbuddies) where they can see pictures, make donations, attend fundraisers and stay up to date on Brayden’s
Lion’s Eye Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org