Day will be large, loud - just as he wants it

Brayden Chandler , 3, who was diagnosed with a kidney tumor 13 months ago, will return today from a trip to Disney World.
Brayden Chandler , 3, who was diagnosed with a kidney tumor 13 months ago, will return today from a trip to Disney World.
Posted: February 19, 2014

A TERMINALLY ill Delaware County boy will receive a hero's welcome when he returns home from his Make-A-Wish vacation today to a massive police escort that will take him from Philadelphia International Airport to his front door in Springfield.

Brayden Chandler, 3, was diagnosed with a kidney tumor in January 2013, and this month, doctors told his parents they could do no more for the boy. Instead of treatment, they told the Chandlers to enjoy their last bit of time with their son.

The Chandler family traveled to Walt Disney World on a Make-A-Wish Foundation trip - but the surprises won't end when they get home today.

Thanks to a Radnor Police Department officer who knows the family, the department has spearheaded a large, multiagency police escort for the Chandlers and Brayden, who is a big fan of large, loud things, Radnor Lt. Christopher Flanagan said.

"We and the family are trying to create an experience and memory for Brayden that he can take with him, as he has not had the opportunity to create many memories of his own," Flanagan said.

The police escort will begin at baggage claim A about 4:30 p.m., when the Chandler family is expected to return, and it will continue to the Chandler family's front door on Pancoast Road near Franklin Avenue in Springfield.

Flanagan said he's not sure how many vehicles and officers will participate, but he's heard rumors that there may be 40 or 50 cars in the escort.

"We're really hoping it goes well," he said. "It'd be great if it didn't snow, because then we could use the motorcycles, too."

Staging for any police vehicle wishing to participate in the escort will take place at 4 p.m. at the Tinicum Firehouse, on Wanamaker Avenue near 2nd Street. Civilians wishing to show their support to Brayden are asked to line up along roads closer to his Springfield home.

Brayden's parents have been chronicling his battle with cancer on their Facebook page at Facebook.com/BraydenChandlerBuddies. The family posted on Feb. 5 updating the page's more than 1,300 followers on the boy's relapse:

"Tonight we have heartbreaking news. After 13 months of Brayden battling cancer, he has relapsed once again. The doctors have told us there is nothing else they can do for him. We will now be only doing comfort care for him. It breaks my heart to watch our child go through this. Never in a million years did I think this would happen. Childhood cancer is cruel and no one should ever have go through this pain that our family has endured. Brayden is a true fighter and I am proud he is our son," his mother wrote.

"Please keep our little guy in your thoughts and prayers and hug your little ones often, because we never know what tomorrow brings."


Twitter: @FarFarrAway

Online: ph.ly/crime

Blog: ph.ly/Delco

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