Medicine

Saco boy who inspired thousands during cancer battle dies

Saco boy who inspired thousands during cancer battle dies

Jacob Thompson, a boy who inspired thousands from around the world to send him Christmas cards as he battled cancer, died at 9 years old on Sunday.

Tragically diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma at the age of four, Jacob was hospitalised last month after the cancer spread to his head and hip.

He was hospitalized in Portland, Maine, in October at which point doctors told his family the child had only a month to live.

As his family had expected, Thompson didn't live long enough for Christmas, a holiday he loves. Jacob requested people celebrate with him by sending him cards. People were touched by the story.

From the early November when the first Christmas cards were received to just days ago, Jacob's family was overjoyed with the response for the cards.

Jacob was admitted to the hospital "for the last time" October 11, his mother, Michelle Thompson Simard, wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Jacob Thompson spent almost half of his short life battling cancer. "Sadly, there are many others like him that we hope you will continue to help".

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Now, Jacob's family is asking for Jacob's supporters to carry on his legacy by doing something for their community.

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

"You brought Jacob happiness, and you presented to every one of us good faith for what's to come".

"We hope that donations will be made, and a cure will be discovered as a result", Jacob's family wrote.

"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 wrote on a Facebook page managed by his aunt, Sonya Artinyan.

He had some big name admirers, as well, similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made him a card, and individuals from the University of ME hockey group and different neighborhood law implementation associations, who went by him in the healing center. The family said Thompson loved penguins and they had adopted an emperor penguin chick on behalf of their son through the World Wildlife Fund.

To make a donation in Jacob's honor, donate to penguin rescue group Operation Gratitude as a tribute to Jacob's favorite animal, or "pay it forward" by donating blood and platelets and helping others in memory of Jacob, his family said.