DEDHAM (CBS) — It was a birthday celebration for the ages as a little boy in Dedham turned seven after fighting cancer and the coronavirus. He and his family have been through more than most of us can imagine. But they’ve made it to the other side with the help of their community.
“Happy birthday, buddy!” a police officer called out on his patrol car’s loudspeaker as the party parade rolled down the street, moving with love and hope for Gavin Brennan as he celebrated his birthday.
“I feel good. And also I’m happy that I’m home,” Gavin said.
Diagnosed with lymphoma, he started chemotherapy in January. Then the coronavirus hit.
“The first curveball was cancer. The second curveball was the pandemic and the third was that we all got hit with COVID,” said April Brennan, Gavin’s mother.
It was a time when coronavirus testing was extremely limited. “Thank God my husband pushed and pushed and pushed for him to get a COVID test,” April Brennan said.
Gavin tested positive, but had no symptoms, so after a two-week quarantine, chemo started again. “That’s when pneumonia reared its ugly head,” April Brennan said.
A second test for Gavin turned up a second positive. “That was a father and mother’s worst nightmare, to get two positive COVID tests,” April Brennan said.
But Thursday, Gavin was home to celebrate not only his birthday and surviving the coronavirus, he also just finished his last round of chemo.
“We’re really excited. It’s been a long, tumultuous road here, but it’s really good to be home and be on the backside of things,” said Tim Brennan, Gavin’s father.
“It’s just going to be an exciting time to celebrate life,” April Brennan said.
Gavin’s prognosis is very positive. The Brennans have set up a GoFundMe page to benefit Boston Children’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Jimmy Fund to say thank you for Gavin’s excellent treatment.