9-year-old who wished for Christmas cards loses battle with cancer

9 year old boy dying cancer christmas cards orig vstan_00002026

9 year old boy dying cancer christmas cards orig vstan_00002026

Last month, doctors at the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Portland in the U.S. state of ME told his parents that he only had a month or so to live.

It was then his mother, Michelle Thompson Simard, set up a heartbreaking GoFundMe page for her son, asking strangers to send Christmas cards as Jacob would most likely not live to see his last festive season.

In a Facebook post Monday, Jacob's family wrote that they are grateful to everyone who sent him Facebook messages and cards.

The 9-year-old was determined to have Stage 4 high-hazard neuroblastoma, a cerebrum disease, in 2014.

"It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of Jacob's passing with you", the family said in a statement.

Jacob passed away Sunday, but not before he had received thousands of cards from around the world.

A 9-year-old boy who inspired outpouring of Christmas cards has died from cancer
Nine-year-old boy with cancer dies after last wish was Christmas cards

Jacob and his family celebrated Christmas last week, where the nine-year-old was excited to be visited by Mr and Mrs Santa Claus.

"We'd like people to live life like a penguin, and by that we mean dive into life, find warmth among friends, stay cool and just give to others", Jacob's stepmom Tara Artinyan told CNN, referring to Jacob's favorite penguin poem, "Advice from a Penguin".

Jacob was able to meet a penguin in person when members of the Mystic Aquarium in CT brought two to the hospital in ME for him, according to NBC affiliate WCNC.

Jacob had some celebrity admirers, too, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made him a card, and members of the University of ME hockey team and various local law enforcement organisations, who visited him in the hospital.

Jacob's family announced his death on the Facebook page where they documented his battle with cancer. "It is tragic, and more research and resources are needed to continue fighting for a cure". The family after receiving wishes thanked everyone with their kindness, saying that Jacob's story will hopefully raise awareness of neuroblastoma that affects usually young children.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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