9-year-old cancer patient whose Christmas wish went viral passes away

Thousands of Christmas cards sent to boy 9 given a month to live

The 9-year-old was determined to have Stage 4 high-hazard neuroblastoma, a cerebrum disease, in 2014.

Friend and strangers from ME and around the globe sent tens of thousands of Christmas cards and gifts.

Jacob's family made a decision to hold a Christmas celebration earlier this month, where they transformed his hospital room into the North Pole, and requested people send in a few Christmas cards to the hospital.

"It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of Jacob's passing with you", the family said in a statement. "Thank you for taking the time, and taking an interest in our sweet boy's journey". His family thanked those who sent Christmas cards and prayers, saying it gave joy to Jacob and optimism to his family.

Jacob is survived by his mother, Michelle Thompson Simard, father Roger Guay, dog Piper and his extended family.

He was admitted to the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in October.


Our thoughts are with Jacob's family at this tragic time. Jacob's mom told Good Housekeeping that he made his life's motto "live like a penguin" because for Jacob that meant "be friendly, stand by each other, go the extra mile, jump into life and be cool".

Jacob Thompson, of ME, passed away Sunday following his 4 year battle with neuroblastoma. "Sadly, there are many others like him that we hope you will continue to help".

Jacob's family ended the Facebook post asking people to #LiveLikeAPenguin, referring to his favorite animal. He had some celebrity admirers, too, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made him a card, and members of the University of ME hockey team and various local law enforcement organizations, who visited him in the hospital. His family asks people who would like to make a donation in his honor to do so to Operation Gratitude, a penguin rescue group or pay it forward in the community.

After word of Jacob's story was picked up online, there was an outpouring of support and within days of the initial request, Thompson had received more than 30,000 cards from around the world.

The family wrote that they are hoping Jacob's story can bring more awareness to neuroblastoma, which most frequently affects children 5 years old and younger, including 800 new children every year in the United States.

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