Boy with brain cancer dies two weeks after town makes him Christmas

Nov. 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM
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PORT CLINTON, Ohio, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- A 13-year-old Ohio boy died of cancer two weeks after the people of his hometown came together to make an early Christmas for him.

Devin Kohlmann died Monday at 5:15 p.m. in his family's apartment in Port Clinton, the Marion Star reported. A few hours later, townspeople gathered in Adams Street Park, across from his home, for a candlelight vigil.

Doctors at a Cincinnati hospital told Devin's family in October that the boy, who had been diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer a year earlier, probably had only a few weeks to live. Hondo Zapata, a friend of the family, said he learned Devin wanted to spend Christmas at home but would probably not live long enough.

"I said we were going to throw him a big Christmas party," Zapata said. "It really took off. Everyone kind of dropped what they were doing and came together in our community."

When Devin flew back to Port Clinton, a small city on Lake Erie, the gazebo and trees in the park were hung with Christmas lights. Neighbors piled shaved ice against the windows of his apartment for snow.

"You could tell he was just in love with it," Zapata said. "Every little thing that everyone did or donated made that boy feel wanted and special."

Mandy Rohde, mother of one of Devin's classmates, attended the vigil and commented on the early snow that was blowing through the city.

"He wanted Christmas, and it's Christmas in Port Clinton," she said.

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