UPDATE (November 21, 2017) — We are so sad to report that Jacob Thompson, the 9-year-old boy with terminal cancer who asked for cards to celebrate his last Christmas, passed away on Sunday, November 19. His family’s powerful message has us smiling through our tears.
Jacob was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma when he was 5 years old. On October 11, doctors told Jacob and his family he had a month to live. Jacob touched the hearts of people all over the world when he asked people to send him Christmas cards, as this would be his last time celebrating the holidays. Jacob received cards from all over the world, including from Antarctica, where is favorite animal, the penguin, lives.
Jacob’s mom, Michelle Thompson, posted on his GoFundMe announcing his passing. She thanked everyone for the cards, the messages, and the prayers Jacob received. “You brought Jacob joy, and you brought us all optimism for the future,” she wrote.
She continued: “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, remember to #LiveLikeAPenguin for Jacob.”
Our thoughts are with Jacob’s family during this difficult time.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE (November 10, 2017) — Jacob Thompson gets to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas early this year. His Thanksgiving had tons of food and family, and his Christmas will have snow, a tree, and even Santa Claus — every nine-year-old’s dream. But the reason Jacob is fast forwarding his holidays is because he is dying, and his family wants to make sure they get to celebrate one last holiday season.
As for his final Christmas wish? Jacob would like people to send him cards.
“He got some cards from this Halloween, and he opened up and saw them and it was like getting a gift. He read it to us and had a big smile his face and his nose scrunched,” Jacob’s dad, Roger Guay, told CNN. “He was excited to see what people had to say and it just brightened his day.”
Jacob has stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, and was diagnosed with the disease when he was five years old. Neuroblastoma is a tumor that begins in the nerve cells and is found in infants and young children. In October, doctors found the cancer had spread to his head. They told Jacob he had a month to live.
After Jacob’s family received the news about his cancer spreading, they decided to start celebrating the holidays early. On November 5, Jacob’s mom, Michelle Thompson Simard, posted photos of their Thanksgiving celebration on his GoFundMe page. The photos show a typical Thanksgiving day — Jacob smiling with his grandparents and people enjoying a Thanksgiving feast. And of course, there were plenty of cards to open.
Jacob is like every boy his age — he likes Star Wars, Minecraft, and Legos, but he really loves penguins. His step mom, Tara Artinyan, says he’s received cards from all over the world, including Australia, the Netherlands, and Denmark. He’s even received cards from Antarctica — where is favorite animal lives.
Although Jacob has been living with cancer most of his nine years, his dad says he has nevertheless had a fulfilling life. “He’s accomplished everything that he needed to do by 9 years old, and a lot of people don’t accomplish that, ever,” Guay said to CNN.