PORTLAND, ME (WFLA) – A 9-year-old terminally-ill boy in Maine who asked for Christmas cards for his last holiday has passed away.
Jacob Thompson died on Sunday, according to his Facebook page, Jacob Thompson’s Journey.
Jacob was diagnosed with Stage IV high-risk neuroblastoma when he was five-years-old.
In October, he was admitted to Maine Medical Center. Doctors there said he only had a month to live, so his family wanted to help him celebrate one final Christmas. He asked for Christmas cards for his last holiday.
Jacob was showered with thousands of Christmas cards from around the world, including from celebrities like Ellen Degeneres, Anna Kendrick, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rob Lowe.
Jacob’s family celebrated Christmas early in his hospital room. Mr. and Mrs. Claus, local police officers and live penguins all stopped by to wish him a Merry Christmas.
On Monday, the following was posted to the Jacob Thompson’s Journey about his passing:
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 peacefully following his 4 year battle with neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer that most commonly affects children ages five or younger, and it accounts for 7 out of 10 childhood cancers. Every year, 800 new children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma in the United States alone. It is tragic, and more research and resources are needed to continue fighting for a cure.
We hope that Jacob’s story and the enormous outpouring of support from around the world will have a lasting impact on raising awareness for this disease. We hope that donations will be made, and a cure will be discovered as a result.
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. Sadly, there are many others like him that we hope you will continue to help.
We owe a deep gratitude to the people and organizations who have helped us along the way, including the staff at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
To make a donation in Jacob’s honor, please do so at Operation Gratitude, to a penguin rescue group, or pay it forward in your community. Do something for others, donate blood and platelets, or use your talents to bring shelter, nourishment or joy to those in need in honor of Jacob’s memory.
And most importantly, always remember to #LiveLikeAPenguin for Jacob.”