A terminally-ill Delaware County boy will receive a hero's welcome when he returns home from his Make-A-Wish vacation tomorrow to a massive police escort that will take him from the Philadelphia International Airport to his front door in Springfield.
Brayden Chandler, 3, was diagnosed with a kidney tumor last January and this month, his parents were told that doctors could do no more for the boy. Instead of treatment, they told the Chandlers to enjoy their last bit of time with their son.
Right now, the Chandler family is at Walt Disney World, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but the surprises won't end when they get home tomorrow.
Thanks to a Radnor Police Department officer who knows the family, the department has spearheaded a large, multi-agency police escort for the Chandlers and their Brayden, who is a big fan of large, loud things, according to Radnor Lt. Christopher Flanagan.
"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 wrote in a release.
The police escort will begin around 4:30 p.m. at baggage claim A, 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 up to 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, Brayden's Buddies. This post from Feb. 5 is gut-wrenching: