A 9-year-old boy diagnosed with cancer is asking for people around the world to send him cards early so he can celebrate Christmas one final time.
Jacob Thompson, of Saco, Maine, was diagnosed with Stage 4 high-risk Neuroblastoma in February 2014 when he was 5-years-old. Although doctors told him that his time was limited back then, he survived. However, his condition has deteriorated over the last few years, with the symptoms taking a significant toll in October.
Doctors and his family say that his time is limited and he will have one more Christmas, which is his favorite holiday.
“Jacob loves Christmas,” his father Roger Guay told WCSH 6 News.
So with Christmas approaching but Thompson’s condition worsening, the family says they will celebrate the holiday early. His hospital room will be decorated with a Christmas tree and lights along with some fake snow. Santa Claus will also be there. Like any child would, Thompson loves gifts and cards from his family and friends. But this Christmas, he’s asking for people across the globe to join him in celebrating early. He wants as many homemade Christmas cards sent to his hospital room as possible.
To send a gift or card to Thompson’s hospital room, use the following address:
C/O Maine Medical Center
22 Bramhall St
Portland, ME 04102
In addition to the cards, Thompson said that he would love to see people singing Christmas carols. To do so, the family is asking people to shoot a video of them singing the carols and post them on the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital Facebook page, where Thompson will be able to view them.
Here’s what you need to know about Thompson:
1. Thompson Was Admitted to the Hospital in October & His Condition Has Worsened
Thompson’s mother, Michelle Thompson Simard, has been updating her son’s condition ever since he was admitted to the hospital in early October in social media posts. Once at the hospital, the family found out that his hip has tumors, which have added more pain and limited his ability to walk. She said they brought him to Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital “for the last time” after his Neuroblastoma spread to his skull.
Thompson started radiation after coming to the hospital October 10, but his condition has gotten increasingly worse, she wrote. In conjunction with the radiation, he’s been on chemotherapy but doctors haven’t noticed any significant reduction in pain.
“Roger and myself have been told that we should be spending as much time as possible with him and we should start making arrangements for his passing,” Simard wrote in an update. “It is expected Jacob may pass away within the month.”
2. Thompson Enjoys Minecraft & His Favorite Animal Is a Penguin
Some of Thompson’s favorite things in life are Star Wars, LEGOs and Minecraft, his stepmother wrote on Facebook. He’s also a singer and loves to take photos and watch movies. Above all, though, there’s one thing that’s his favorite: Penguins.
Penguins are Thompson’s “spirit animal,” and he dressed like one this past Halloween while in the hospital while holding a stuffed animal.
“Live like a penguin” is a motto of Thompsons’, his mother told Good Housekeeping.
Even though he’s suffering from debilitating pain, Simard wrote that her son has been “enjoyable” through the process.
“Last night as he was falling asleep, he told me, ‘I’m very lucky to know you, and your family,'” she wrote. “Even with all the emotion, and pain it’s been to watch him he makes me smile and laugh! He by far is the best human I’ve ever met!”
3. The Christmas Cards Have Already Started to Flow in
With Thompson’s Christmas celebration fast approaching, the cards from across the globe have already started flowing into the hospital. He said that in addition to the cards, any gifts or toys that are sent his way would be shared with the other children at the hospital.
Barbara Bush Hospital said in a statement that the response to Thompson’s story has been “wonderfully overwhelming,” but encouraged people not to personally deliver the cards.
4. A GoFundMe Was Started to Raise Money for Thompson’s Funeral
A GoFundMe campaign was started by Thompson’s mother to help raise money for his care and potential funeral costs. In 17 days, the campaign has raised nearly $50,000 toward its eventual $75,000 goal.
Today Roger and I went to start making prearrangements for Jacob’s funeral, and were sticker shocked. No one thinks about having to do this type of planning for their child and because of that we did nor do not have life insurance on him. We are asking for some assistance from family and friends to help support this.
We we understand everyone lives on a budget and if you can not donate the best way to help (other than prayers) is to pass this along on your Facebook or other social media. Jacob has touched the lives of so many, he as well his father and myself appreciate your continued support, love, and well wishes.
People from across the globe have donated to the campaign, with some writing tributes to Thompson and his family. Many pledged to make him cards and send them to the hospital.
“I cannot imagine what you are going through at this time,” user Trisa Eastman wrote. “I know the money will never be able to save your precious child. I will pray for a miracle. I am truly sorry again for the pain that you are your family are going through at this time. Love and Prayers.”
To donate to the fund, click here.
5. Thompson’s Mother Argued Against the Former Healthcare Bill in May
In May, Simard, who worked as a dispatcher for the Sanford Maine Police Department, wrote in a Facebook post that her family was denied an insurance claim on Thompson’s chemo drugs. The company, Aetna, has “already paid millions” in his treatment, but Simard argued that they don’t “get to decide when enough is enough. Jacob does, I do, his father does, and God or who or whatever is our there decides.”
“Not a billion dollar company who does not have to hold him when he’s sick, catch his vomit in their bare hands, wash his pillow case covered in his hair and watch the most important, loving, caring, gentle, honest, pure thing in their life wither away,” she wrote.
Simard’s post came amidst the healthcare debate in Washington D.C. and said that over her lifetime — with the help of her employer — she will pay $250,000 in premiums and other charges for her son’s care. She argued that we shouldn’t allow the government to sign a healthcare bill that allows insurance companies to deny insurance based on pre-existing conditions.
The healthcare bill she was referring to at the time failed in the Senate.