Thousands of strangers gave a sick child an early Christmas. Days before Thanksgiving, he died.


(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

Thousands of strangers gave a sick child an early Christmas. Days before Thanksgiving, he died.

 November 20 at 2:28 PM

Jacob Thompson, 9, died Sunday after fighting a rare cancer for four years. (Family photo)

Jacob Thompson spent nearly half of his short life battling cancer.

The 9-year-old boy, who loved penguins, died Sunday, four years after he was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that affects mostly young children.

As his family had expected, Thompson didn’t live long enough for Christmas, a holiday he loves. But shortly before his death, countless friends, family members and complete strangers inspired by the terminally ill boy’s story brought an early Christmas to him. They decorated his hospital room with a tree, requested a special visit from Santa Claus, and sent him gifts and dozens of homemade holiday cards.

Jacob and his family celebrated Christmas on Nov. 12. He died a week later.

“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,” his family, from Saco, Maine, wrote on a Facebook page they used to chronicle his journey. “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.”

Jacob was admitted to the hospital “for the last time” Oct. 11, his mother, Michelle Thompson Simard, wrote on a GoFundMe page. The cancer had spread to his skull and to several bones in his inner ear. His hip was so covered with tumors that it looked like lace, Thompson Simard wrote. Chemotherapy and radiation had offered little signs of hope.

The boy’s family was “told that we should be spending as much time as possible with him and we should start making arrangements for his passing,” Thompson Simard wrote, adding later, “No one thinks about having to do this type of planning for their child and because of that we did not nor do not have life insurance on him.”

The GoFundMe campaign has raised nearly $160,000 as of Monday to pay for Jacob’s funeral.

Thompson Simard documented the response from people who sent Christmas cards and toys to make the early holiday memorable for Jacob. On Nov. 1, she posted a picture of Jacob with the first card he received. It featured a penguin, which his family, from Saco, Maine, says is his favorite animal.

For the next several days, Jacob was showered with presents. Pictures his mother shared on social media showed boxes of toys, games, books, cards and, of course, more penguins — including penguin socks.

He even received a video greeting from actor Rob Lowe and the cast of “Code Black.”

Merry Christmas, Jacob! http://dlvr.it/Pyx3zQ  Please send cards:
Jacob Thompson
Maine Medical Center
22 Bramhall St
Portland, ME 04102

Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, Maine, where Jacob was being treated, saidthe response was “wonderfully overwhelming” but asked people to not personally deliver cards to the hospital because of safety concerns.

On Thursday, three days before Jacob died, his family shared a picture of him in his hospital bed wearing a blue Superman T-shirt. His dog, Piper, was lying near his feet.

Jacob had just gone through a round of radiation to help him with some pain in his leg, his family wrote.

“Jacob spends most of his time resting, but has had a few good hours to play and open all your cards and gifts,” his family wrote.

In the post announcing Jacob’s death, his family said they hope his story would help raise awareness about neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancerous tumor that affects mostly infants and young children, according to the American Cancer Society. There are about 700 new cases every year in the United States. The majority are diagnosed by age 5.

“We hope that donations will be made, and a cure will be discovered as a result,” Jacob’s family wrote.

7 thoughts on “Thousands of strangers gave a sick child an early Christmas. Days before Thanksgiving, he died.

    1. I agree with you. I have had very bad health for many years now, I had to retire in 2013 a couple of months before I turned 57. Several Doctors told me back in 1999 that in their opinion I could only life another 3 or 4 more years, if I was lucky. I hurt all the time, but when I want to start feeling sorry for myself I put into minds eye the little children sitting in wheelchairs suffering from cancer, this helps me from complaining about my issues both allowed, and to myself. To me I have been very blessed to be allowed to see each day that the Lord allows me to have another day.—ted

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s so sweet of you to share your story.
        You’re totally spot-on. Poor little souls.
        When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, she at the age of 55 was the oldest person in that ward. And she would always smile, encouraging others though she was in pain too. She thought that it was so unfair and too painful to see a bunch of young moms and teenagers having to go through all that pain.
        Take care,
        B

        Like

      2. It sounds like you were blessed with a wonderful Mom, yet I am so sorry that she had to go through such things. My Father-in-Law just died of brain cancer last month (October 11th), he would have been 82 on Nov 6th. He was a very good man, I was blessed to get to know him. His daughter and I will have been married 18 yrs on Christmas day if the Lord allows me to see it. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this wonderful yet sad story of your Mom. I also was blessed to have a wonderful Mom, she got killed in a car wreck in August of 2000 at the age of 69. I thank God pretty much everyday still that He blessed me with such a wonderful woman to have been my Mom. I wish you well my friend, stay safe, God bless.—ted

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You to my friend, contact me any time you wish. There is always one thing that I will promise you, I will never ever lie to you. I am not saying that I am never wrong about something once in awhile, but I refuse to lie to folks.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Itsallaboutyu

UNDERSTANDING CHANGE BEGINS WITH OURSELVES

rosmaninho e alecrim

Artesanato (de)coração

Rezenhando

A Cultura POP de A a Z!

Tempero e Fogão

Adepta da CozinhaTerapia desde os 11 anos. Compartilhando meus pratos preferidos do interior de São Paulo para o mundo. Porque a cozinha rompe fronteiras e tempera vidas!

लेखनी चलती रहे....!

अहिंसा परमोधर्मः, धर्म हिंसा तथैव च।

My Perspective

Explaining the spidery corners of current affairs, ranging from politics to the nitty gritty news stories

Maroccfood

An all round blog on Moroccan food, my own recipes, home remedies as well as product reviews

Africa Zwelibanzi

Monarch Of Poetry

Anything but Ordinary

My way out of ordinary .

%d bloggers like this: