Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Boy, 3, who received police escort, dies

Word came in late last night that little Brayden, who received a massive multi-agency police escort from the airport to his home in Springfield last month, died yesterday following his battle with cancer.

Boy, 3, who received police escort, dies

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.
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. Brayden's Buddies / Facebook

"He's only 3."

Those words, spoken by 3-year-old Brayden Chandler's grandmother, Dolly, keep going through my head this morning. Word came in late last night that little Brayden, who received a massive multi-agency police escort from the airport to his home in Springfield last month, died yesterday following his battle with cancer.

It doesn't make sense.

He was only 3.

Just three years, that's all he got on this spinning marble, when some of us get 40 or 80 or 100. As my colleague said this morning: "How does this make sense when some of the people we write about who do terrible things seem to live forever."

It doesn't make sense.

He was only 3.

I didn't know Brayden, I saw him briefly as his father carried him from the limo through the throng of more than 200 friends, neighbors and strangers who had come to welcome him home on that incredible February day of the police escort. But his story has deeply touched me, as it has many others, and I will never forget what it was like to be a part of all that incredible crowd of goodness and light. All those people and all those uniformed first responders who gave up their day to show a little boy he mattered reminded me what's best about humanity. And I'll never forget speaking with Brayden's young parents, who were so grateful for what the community had done. Nobody should have to go through what they're going through today.

It doesn't make sense.

He was only 3.

This morning, on the Facebook support page for Brayden, his mom and dad left this message:

"We are saddened to say that heaven gained a superhero yesterday. Brayden has taught us many things in short little life time. And we were proud to be his parents. He battled for his life and always kept a smile while doing it. He was loved so many people and he loved everyone too. My heart aches for him to not be with me here but I know we will meet again... I know your at peace now... to infinity and beyond. Love you little man."

It doesn't make sense.

He was only 3.

But in his short three years on this often senseless planet Brayden touched more people than some who survive a full lifetime. He made parents hug their kids just a bit tighter, he made kids appreciate what they have just a bit more and he reminded all of us that when we work together, we're capable of great kindness in the face of great tragedy.

Perhaps if all of us committed one act of kindness for each of Brayden's years on this earth, the world would be bit better place.

It wouldn't take a lot.

He was only 3.

About this blog
In The Daily Delco blog, Daily News reporters William Bender and Stephanie Farr dig up all the dirt - from crazy crimes to political malfeasance and everything in between - in Delaware County.

E-mail tips to Bender at benderw@phillynews.com or call him at 215-964-2099. Follow him on Twitter: @wbender99

E-mail tips to Farr at farrs@phillynews.com or call her at 215-854-4225. Follow her on Twitter: @farfarraway

William Bender and Stephanie Farr
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