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KIRO Radio listeners respond to dying boy’s Christmas wish

Jacob Thompson is a 9-year-old boy who is fighting an aggressive form of cancer. He was recently admitted back to the hospital. The cancer was found to have spread.

Doctors are giving him a month to live.

Because of this and because of Jacob’s love for Christmas and penguins his family is requesting people send him Christmas cards — especially ones featuring penguins. His life motto is: “live like a penguin.” So they’re using the hashtag #LiveLikeAPenguin to spread the word.

The campaign has received attention from prominent CNN anchor Jake Tapper and Senator John McCain who is also battling an aggressive and often fatal cancer.

I received a few emails after my original story about Jacob. One requested that I keep listeners updated on his condition and Christmas campaign.

The other read as follows:

Heard Colleen O’brien’s report about Jacob Thompson.
After hearing it I was on a mission. Had to get that boy a Xmas penguin. I sorta made one and attempted to make a Christmas card for him too with penguins. Lol
Just wanted to say thank you. As I made his card it gave me time to think about him and his family. To reflect. I’ve never done anything like that before or even written a show but felt completed. I posted his address on my FB for others to reach out to him as well. Thank you.

I so appreciate this. I appreciate all of you who have supported and reached out about what the Daily Dose of Kindness means to you.

When I started this more than a year ago I thought perhaps I could slip a quick 60 seconds of “good news” content into our show and nobody would notice. But the response was immediate and it became clear how much we need to talk about the good stuff.

To be honest, I felt deprived of the good stuff, too. So I put it on myself, a broadcaster who is too often the bearer of bad news, to actively search out and report the good news.

There was something about Jacob’s story that made me go a step further this time. Like the listener above, this weekend was the first time I have acted on a Daily Dose of Kindness report. I spent the weekend looking for the best penguin Christmas card I could find (turned out to be a musical one with a pop-up penguin) and sat down with my husband and daughter to send him our love.

There’s still time for you to do the same.

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

Jacob’s family has also started a Facebook page to keep everyone up-to-date on his condition and the Christmas campaign.

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