Jacob Thompson’s Christmas wish came true this weekend.
On Sunday, he and his family celebrated the holiday early in a hospital room at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine.
“It seems like it took forever to get here, but I am so excited Christmas is finally here,” Jacob’s father, Roger Guay, told the Lee Goldberg News Center. “I just want Jacob to be able to smile, and not have to focus on the pain.”
Jacob, 9, of Saco, Maine, was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma in February 2014 at 5 years old. On Oct. 11, Jacob was checked into hospice care at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.
His family put out a plea on Facebook on Oct. 30:
“... we’re doing a ‘fast forward’ to the holidays. Jacob would love to get some early Christmas cards. We’re celebrating next weekend and hope Jacob will have many to decorate his hospital room walls.”
“Jacob loves Christmas,” Guay told WCSH.
His stepmother, Tara Artinyan, says penguins are his “spirit animal.”
His story has since inspired people and touched hearts worldwide.
As of Thursday, Jacob had received 66,000 cards – many featuring penguins.
He was surrounded by family, the thousands of cards, stuffed-animal penguins, penguin cupcakes and a Christmas tree Sunday. Even Santa and Mrs. Claus showed up.
“Words can’t express our immense gratitude for the joy that so many people from all over the world have brought Jacob,” his family posted on Facebook on Friday. “We sincerely hope that Jacob has inspired everybody to #LiveLikeAPenguin. Merry early Christmas from our family to you.”