In heart-wrenching news coming from the US, Jacob Thompson, the 9-year-old boy from Maine, Portland, has succumbed to cancer.
Jacob had asked people to send him Christmas greetings early because it was not sure if he would live to see the festival. He wanted people to help make his last holiday special and thousands of strangers promptly responded.
He was diagnosed with Stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, a brain cancer, in 2014.
In early October, doctors at the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Portland told his parents that he only had a month or so to live following which Jacob asked people to send him Christmas cards to help make his last holiday special.
Thousands of strangers answered the call with cards, some featuring his favourite animal -- penguins -- made it to his bedside at the Maine Medical Center, CNN reported.
Jacob had some celebrity admirers, too, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made him a card, and members of the University of Maine hockey team and various local law enforcement organisations, who visited him in the hospital.
Jacob and his family had their early Christmas celebration on November 12 in the hospital, where he had been admitted since October 11.
Jacob died on Sunday.
"It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of Jacob's passing with you. On Sunday, November 19th, 2017, at just 9 years old, Jacob passed away peacefully following his 4 year battle with neuroblastoma," his family wrote on Jacob's Facebook page.
They also thanked everyone for their kindness.
"Each and every person who sent Jacob a Christmas card, a gift, a Facebook message or video, or a prayer made a difference in the final days of his life," they wrote.
"You brought Jacob joy, and you brought us all optimism for the future. Thank you for taking the time, and taking an interest in our sweet boy's journey."
(With PTI inputs)