Boy Who Received Thousands of Christmas Cards from Strangers Dies After Losing Cancer Battle
Earlier this month, family, friends and complete strangers rallied together to help make the terminally ill boy’s Christmas wish come true.
This article originally appeared on People.com.
Jacob Thompson loved Christmas but he knew the chances of him being alive for his favorite holiday were slim.
This is why the nine-year-old, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, asked to receive Christmas cards early, and thousands of strangers answered the call with cards filled with love and holiday wishes to bring him some early Christmas cheer.
Sadly, as he and his family had feared, Jacob passed away Sunday, a month before his beloved time of the year. Jacob’s parents, Michelle Simard and Roger Guay, from Saco, Maine, confirmed their son’s death on Facebook and GoFundMe on Sunday.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of Jacob’s passing with you. On Sunday, November 19th, 2017, at just 9 years old, Jacob passed away after his a 4 year battle with neuroblastoma,” the statement read.
“Each and every person who sent Jacob a Christmas card, a gift, a Facebook message or video, or a prayer made a difference in the final days of his life. You brought Jacob joy, and you brought us all optimism for the future. Thank you for taking the time, and taking an interest in our sweet boy’s journey,” the message read.
Jacob and his family had their early Christmas celebration on Nov. 12 at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, where he had been admitted since Oct. 11 with the understanding that he would pass away within a month.
The rare cancer had spread to his skull and to several bones in his inner ear as well as tumors on his hips. Chemotherapy and radiation had offered little signs of hope.
Earlier this month, family, friends and complete strangers rallied together to help make the terminally ill boy’s Christmas wish come true after his parents invited anyone interested to send their son homemade cards.
Jacob, who loved penguins, received pallets of mail from those inspired by his story. In addition, he was gifted several toys his favorite animal and perhaps most special of all, a visit from a group of penguins from the Mystic Aquarium.
Rob Lowe and the cast and crew of Code Black also made a video wishing Jacob a “Merry Christmas.”
Actress Anna Kendrick, CNN anchor Jake Tapper and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger also spread Jacob’s wish on Twitter and Facebook.
A GoFundMe page has been created to assist with Jacob’s impending funeral costs.