Community Rallies Around Sick Boy For Early Christmas
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A 9-year-old boy who loves Christmas is getting his wish to experience it one last time, and it's being held this weekend because of fears he may not make it to Dec. 25.
Jacob Thompson was diagnosed at age 5 with neuroblastoma, a cancer that starts in the nerve cells and generally affects infants and young children. He was admitted to Maine Medical Center on Oct. 11, and his parents were told he now has a month to live.
The weekend-long early holiday event featured all the trappings of Christmas that can be mustered in a hospital room: A Christmas tree, colorful lights and Santa.
The boy, who lives in Sanford, Maine, loves Christmas cards and already has had a flood of Christmas cards. Police officers brought him 14,000 cards in 30 cartons in a single day.
Jacob's mom, Michelle Thompson Simard, said the response has been incredible. Letters have come from around the world.
The University of Maine hockey team showed up with a signed jersey and hockey stick. And the police department in Stoughton, Massachusetts, heard about Jacob's story, and his love for police cars, and organized a law enforcement caravan that circled in front of the hospital.
His parents said their son "has touched the lives of so many." They thanked the community for "support, love, and well wishes."