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Ohio town celebrates Christmas early for boy with terminal cancer

Shereen Dindar
Shine On
October 31, 2013

An Ohio town is celebrating Christmas early this week so that a 13-year-old boy with terminal brain cancer can enjoy his favourite holiday one last time.

Devin Kohlman of Port Clinton, Ohio, expressed that his dying wish was to experience Christmas -- a wish he wouldn't live to see come true because of his declining health. The boy was released from hospital Sunday to spend his final days at home.

But rather than dress their homes for Halloween, the town's spent the past few days stringing Christmas lights and decorating Devin's street with snowmen and fake snow to replicate the festive season and make his dream come true.

Also see: Young couple still weds despite groom's traumatic brain injury

When Devin and his family drove up to their street, they were greeted by a line of police cars and fire trucks, all lit up for him.

"When we got over the bay we could see all the police cars, fire trucks, and everything lined up with lights," says his mother Alexis Kohlman. "I told him that they were all there for him and his eyes were huge!"

And that was just the beginning -- since Sunday night, dozens of volunteers have been busy decorating the park across the street from him with a Santa, reindeer, holiday lights and snowmen, so that he can enjoy the scene from his apartment window.

Also see: Orphaned teen asks for family, more than 10,000 respond

"It was just instant tears," neighbour Alejandro Zapata, who organized the celebration, tells ABC. "You could just see all the people with signs that came out in a matter of hours' notice."

Several tons of shaved ice was used to mimic drifting snow outside his window, as people -- many of them strangers -- stood outside his home with candles in hand.

"I have grand kids and I like to think if anything happened to them that this community would do the same," volunteer Mindy Waffen, who has never met the boy, says through tears. "It's just something I felt we needed to do."

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