Boy with cancer dies after wish for early Christmas cards

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A 9-year-old Maine boy with cancer has died after his wish for a Christmas celebration was fulfilled.

Jacob Thompson’s family used social media Monday to announce that he died Sunday at Maine Medical Center in Portland. His family thanked those who sent Christmas cards and prayers, saying it gave joy to Jacob and optimism to his family.

Related: 9-year-old with cancer wants cards for his last Christmas

Jacob was diagnosed at age 5 with neuroblastoma, and was admitted to the hospital in October. Knowing time was short, his family held a Christmas celebration there earlier this month.

People were touched by the story. Cards poured in from around the world.

“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 parents wrote on their GoFundMe page. “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.”

The boy loved penguins. His family urged people to make a donation to a penguin rescue group, Operation Gratitude “or pay it forward in your community.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.