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Jacob Thompson may not live to see Christmas, so his family is asking strangers to help him celebrate early by sending him homemade Christmas cards.
Thompson, 9, was diagnosed three years ago with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancerous tumor that has spread to his head and his hip, says his family.
The little boy's mother, Michelle Thompson Simard, and his father, Roger Guay, created a heartbreaking Go Fund Me page to share Jacob's story, revealing that he was admitted Oct. 11 to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, Maine, "for the last time."
"Roger and myself have been told that we should be spending as much time as possible with him and we should start making arrangements for his passing," Simard wrote on the page, which was set up to help offset the little boy's funeral costs. (Through a hospital spokesperson, the parents declined to comment to TODAY.)
"It is expected Jacob may pass away within the month," she added.
What Jacob wants most of all right now, his mother told Good Housekeeping, is to celebrate another Christmas.
"Jacob loves the holiday season,” said Simard, "and we want him to know that Christmas wishes come true and that there are good people who care all around the world."
The brave little boy's friends and family members have done their best to spread some holiday cheer. They decorated his hospital room with a Christmas tree and organized a special visit from Santa Claus.
Over the past few days, cards, toys and other gifts have poured in from around the world, and Jacob has received special messages from big-hearted sports figures and celebrities, including Rob Lowe, who sent a cheerful video message with the entire cast of "Code Black."
Many of the toys and gifts feature penguins — Jacob's favorite animal. In fact, Jacob's mom told Good Housekeeping that the tuxedo-clad birds with communal spirit so inspire her son, he's made his life's motto "live like a penguin."
She says for Jacob that has always meant, "Be friendly, stand by each other, go the extra mile, jump into life and be cool."
If you'd like to stand by Jacob and wish him a Merry Christmas, send your homemade card to:
C/O Maine Medical Center
22 Bramhall Street
Portland, ME 04102
You can also contribute to the family's Go Fund Me page.