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USM students make sick boy's 'last Christmas' wish reality

Card signing - Lauren Kennedy photo

A terminally-ill 9-year-old boy is getting his last Christmas wish, thanks to two University of Southern Maine students.

USM students Lauren Kennedy and Sacha Kiesman organized a card-signing for Jacob Thompson, who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer.

Because of his diagnosis, Jacob's family will be celebrating Christmas early this year. When they come together this weekend, Jacob hopes to find Christmas cards — his only request.

The boy has received thousands of cards from Maine and across the nation. He'll soon receive 130 more signed by USM students, faculty and staff, plus one giant group card, as a result of the card-signing held Nov. 7.

"Jacob's story hit me so hard that I really couldn't ignore it," said Kiesman, a sophomore Communication student. "I wanted to do the most I could for him."

The cards will be sent to Jacob, who is currently staying at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center.

"I was really moved by the USM community — we came together to send our love and thoughts to Jacob and his family,” Kennedy, a senior Media Studies student, said. “Within a few hours, we completely ran out of cards to sign. It was a very touching afternoon."

For those who wish to send cards to Jacob, they can be addressed to:

Jacob Thompson
C/O Maine Medical Center
22 Bramhall St
Portland, ME 04102