9-year-old cancer patient who requested cards for his last Christmas passes away

PORTLAND, Maine — Jacob Thompson, the 9-year-old cancer patient whose request for Christmas cards went viral, passed away on Sunday.

His family announced the sad news on their Jacob Thompson’s Journey Facebook page, where they had been sharing the young boy’s four-year battle with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that commonly affects children ages five or younger.

(Tara Artinyan via CNN)

“Every year, 800 new children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma in the United States alone. It is tragic, and more research and resources are needed to continue fighting for a cure,” the family said in their statement. “We hope that Jacob’s story and the enormous outpouring of support from around the world will have a lasting impact on raising awareness for this disease. We hope that donations will be made, and a cure will be discovered as a result.”

They thanked everyone who took the time to send the child a Christmas card.

“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. 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. Sadly, there are many others like him that we hope you will continue to help.”

In October of this year, doctors informed Jacob’s family that he likely only had a month to live. They decided to celebrate Christmas early. Jacob asked for cards from around the world to celebrate his last Christmas. His request immediately went viral and he received over 100 cards just five days after he first announced it.