A Toronto-based designer and filmmaker is going the extra mile for a terminally ill boy who likely will not live to see Christmas.
Roger Christian, who worked on "Aliens" and the original "Star Wars" trilogy, heard about Jacob Thompson through a friend.
The 9-year-old from Maine has terminal cancer, and doctors told his family last month that he likely only had a month to live, CNN reported.
Jacob's mother told the network they wanted to give him an early and memorable Christmas and asked people to send her son Christmas cards.
Christian told Global News that when he heard Jacob liked Star Wars, he thought he could help him in a unique way.
"He obviously likes 'Star Wars,' most children do, so I thought, you know, I will send a lightsaber with a signature on it."
Thompson helped create the props for the first "Star Wars" film.
"Luke's lightsaber. That's the first thing we built," he told the outlet. "This is what has become the most iconic prop in the history of cinema."
Thank you Global News and @angieseth for helping get the story of Jacob Thomas out there. Today I will be sending Jacob an autographed lightsaber to help him celebrate the best Christmas. May the Force Be With You brave Jedi. . Full story on @globalnews Tonight at 5:30 pm EST. . . . . #jacobthomas #christmas #christmaswish #jedi #starwarsfan #starwars #starwarsfans #cinemaalchemist #globalnews #cancersucks
And now Jacob is getting one, along with a photo of Christian and R2-D2. The set decorator also had a sweet message to pass along.
"Take joy in that this is actually a lightsaber from Luke. These are the Jedis and you are one of them. The force is with you and you are a Jedi so just you embrace that," he said.
The filmmaker, who lives in Etobicoke, is married to Toronto lawyer Lina Dhingra and also has a young son, according to the Toronto Sun.
The Thompson family also started a GoFundMe for the sad but necessary task of planning Jacob's funeral. The campaign had the side effect of alerting people to the boy's situation, and soon cards and donations began to pour in.
Jacob has received over 66,000 cards. His family's fundraiser has also surpassed $150,000.
The boy was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when he was five years old. Other efforts to lift his spirits have included a visit with his favourite animal: the penguin.
The Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut arranged for two of their African penguins to take a trip to Maine along with a bag of "penguin swag," the Portland Press Herald reported.
Jacob got to hang out with and pet the aquatic birds for around an hour.
"[Jacob] was definitely excited. He scrunched up his nose, which we were told was a sign that he likes something," Dale Wolbrink, the aquarium's spokesperson, said. "It was one of those things that we don't want to have to do, but which was as meaningful for us as it was for his parents and family."
Jacob wants people to "live like a penguin" and be "be friendly, stand by each other, go the extra mile, jump into life and be cool," according to Good Housekeeping.
His family has thanked the public for their support. They posted an update on Jacob's GoFundMe page recently, letting people know that they had celebrated a family Thanksgiving together and would be paying all the love forward to the children's cancer community.
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