By Nathan Vicar
(WOMC) — A terminally ill Maine boy who spurred thousands of people around the world to send him homemade Christmas cards for his last holiday lost his battle with cancer on Sunday.
Jacob Thompson‘s family used social media early Monday to announce that the 9-year-old died after a battle with neuroblastoma.
Thompson was diagnosed at age 5 and was admitted to the hospital in October. Knowing time was short, his family asked strangers to send him cards and held a Christmas celebration earlier this month.
Their request then went viral.
At one point, Jacob received more than 10,000 pieces of mail in a day, according to a Maine Medical Center spokesperson.
In the Facebook post, his family thanked those who send Christmas cards and prayers, saying it gave joy to Jacob and optimism to his family.
His family also suggested to those who would like to donate in Jacob’s honor to do so for Operation Gratitude, “to a penguin rescue group, or pay it forward in your community,” including blood and platelets donations.
“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,” his family said in a statement. “You brought Jacob joy, and you brought us all optimism for the future.”