For the last few days, news outlets, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites have been flooded with the sad yet touching story of 9-year-old Jacob Thompson. If you don't know who Jacob is, here's what you need to know:
At the age of 5 years old, Jacob was diagnosed with high risk Neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer affecting the adrenal glands. He has been in and out of the hospital ever since, and a few weeks ago, on October 11th, he was admitted for what his parents have been told is the last time.
Things took a turn for the worse recently as attempts at treatment have been unsuccessful, and Jacob's cancer has spread to a number of different areas, including his head and hip. When he was admitted to Barbara Bush Children's hospital last month, the doctors told his parents that he is likely to pass away within the month.
According to his parents, Jacob loves the holiday season. But because he is hospital bound and likely won't make it through the month, his family has decided to help him celebrate early. They plan to bring the holidays to him, and help Jacob experience his favorite time of year one more time with a visit from Santa Clause and a room decorated like his own winter wonderland, complete with a tree and fake snow. And they need your help.
Of course he is excited to receive gifts and cards from his close friends and family, but Jacob has also made a one very special request to anyone out there who hears his story and feels inclined to reach out. He is asking for handmade holiday cards that he can hang up on the walls of his hospital room. Jacob's mom says that he especially would enjoy cards with penguins on them, because he says that penguins are his spirit animal.
So if you send one holiday card this year, make it one to Jacob. A few minutes out of your busy day will be guaranteed to help make this incredible and strong boy's last days very special for him and his loved ones. So let's make it happen. Grab some friends, and get crafty. The cards don't need to be intricate or artistic. Just let him know that we're thinking of him, wishing him happy holidays, and sending infinite love, peace, and joy his way.
Anyone interested can send Jacob a card at the address below:
Maine Medical Center 22 Bramhall Street
Portland, Maine 04102
The family has also started a Go Fund Me fundraiser page to hopefully help with the unexpected financial burden of arrangements for Jacob's funeral. Anyone so inclined can also visit that page to make a donation, view updates, or leave a friendly message for the family.
Whether or not you choose to send Jacob a card, let's all keep the Thompson family in our thoughts and wish Jacob a very cheerful last holiday celebration.