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.

Man With Backpack Breaches White House Security Near Residence Entrance: Was Arrested

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

(CNN) A man carrying a backpack was arrested Friday night after breaching security at the White House complex and was discovered by a Secret Service officer by the south entrance to the executive residence, officials said.

The incident happened just before midnight while President Donald Trump was at the White House.
A Secret Service source said the intruder might have entered the White House grounds on the east side before making his way near the residence’s south portico entrance.
The White House was placed under security condition “orange,” one of the highest levels of security for the Secret Service.
The suspect was arrested by the Secret Service and taken into custody.
The President was spending the weekend in Washington and was alerted to the incident late Friday night, an administration official said.
There have been numerous instances of people trespassing on the White House grounds over the last several years.
In one notable instance in 2014, 42-year-old Omar Gonzales, of Copperas Cove, Texas, made it through the north portico doors with a three-and-a-half-inch folding knife in his pants pocket, according to the Secret Service. Gonzalez was apprehended just after making it inside the doors, the Secret Service said. The first family was not at the White House at the time.
In another, the Secret Service apprehended Joseph Caputo, of Stamford, Connecticut, on the North Lawn after he scaled the fence wearing an American flag-like cape while the first family was inside the residence celebrating Thanksgiving.

Give Thanks to Him and Praise His Name: This Thanksgiving And Everyday

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIANS AND JEWS)

Give Thanks to Him and Praise His Name

November 23, 2016

Dear Friend of Israel

On Thanksgiving, Americans gather with family and friends to share a meal and give thanks to God for their many blessings. It is one of America’s most beloved holidays – one of those rare times when we come together to reaffirm the principle that the good we have received as a nation and as individuals is a gift from God.

Though Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Israel, its theme is woven throughout Jewish life and holidays. During Hanukkah, which we will observe next month, we remember with a thankful heart God’s gift of a flask of oil that miraculously lasted eight days. On Purim, giving thanks to God is central to the joyous celebration of the Jews’ victory over the evil Haman. On Passover, our hearts are filled with gratitude when we remember how God delivered our ancestors from captivity in Egypt.

I am also reminded of this spirit of thanksgiving whenever I visit our Fellowship sponsored programs in Israel and hear heartfelt expressions of gratitude from Israel’s needy people for the help they are receiving. Through your generosity, this year more Jews have been brought to their biblical homeland, more hungry Jews have been fed, and more Jewish orphans have been given safe, comfortable places to live than ever before.

We cultivate a sense of thankfulness, first and foremost, by cultivating a sense of gratitude toward God, the One Who made us and sustains us. Psalm 100:4-5 tells us to “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” When we learn in all things to “give thanks to him and praise his name,” we will find that gratitude – for the smallest blessings, as well as the largest – will follow us throughout our lives.

This Thanksgiving, as I thank God for the many blessings he has bestowed upon me and upon The Fellowship’s ministry, I will also be thanking God for you, our Fellowship supporters – for your generous spirit, and for all He has accomplished through you. Your compassionate help provides so many needy people with the life-giving support that gives them hope. May your heart be filled with gratefulness for the many blessings in your life, and brim over with thanks to the God Who is the source of all those blessings.

With prayers for shalom, peace,


Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

The Apple (Granny’s Dark Side)

 

THE APPLE

 

Was it given by Eve

Did it make us all die

Is it now baked in Hell’s ovens

Do the Demons enjoy a tart pie

Are you really the apple of your Granny’s eye

 

Thanksgiving meal or 4th of July pie

Tempered with arsenic or cyanide dye

Grandma Eve, your Grandpa long ago died

Little children be careful what you eat

If Granny’s got burning embers in her eyes

 

Will an apple a day really keep evil away

Depends on the cook and if today is your day

Little green apples turn the bowels into knots

Red rotten baked with dead worms in the crust

Granny turned all the little monsters back into dust!

Father In Law And Friend, You will Be Missed

This Poem is my attempt to salute the man who is most responsible for the raising of my two blood children, who are in their mid thirties now. Steve was a man who I had great respect for and whom I thought of as the dad I always wish I had had, or at the very least as the dad I wish my real dad would have been anything like. I got a call from my daughter Thanksgiving morning of 2011 to inform me that Steve had died from a heart valve problem. I wrote this poem the next morning as a salute to him.

 

 

Steve, o how I miss you, a main rock within my life

But one day now you have been gone

I have always felt your soul as if a part of my soul

For thirty-eight years our lives were intertwined

Always loved like a father, that, will never die.

This morning my sweet daughters call

For this season, Thanksgiving holiday has died

This past twenty-four on my knees I’ve shed many tears

Also thanking the Lord for the great man that you were

Raising your four children, then by your kindness, mine

So thankful my children whom you loved, holding your hand

As you, this wonderful man, for the last time closed your eyes

My friend, how many of those I know that loved you like a dad

Our hearts and souls ache for the loss of you

Yet we all thank the Lord for the time allowed to share with you

In all our eyes, truly one Heaven sent man, sleep well my friend.

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