Peer counseling class fulfills wishes

BY JULIANA ATENCIA

Students enrolled in Peer Counseling at the Bay created holiday cards on Nov. 9 for a nine-year-old boy from Maine, Jacob Thompson. He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that develops near the adrenal gland in the kidney. His only wish for the holidays was to receive Christmas cards. Peer Counseling adviser Jennifer Cook said she wanted to fulfill his wish; they sent over 200 cards written by peer counselors to Thompson.

“I saw the news report about Jacob and the amount of people sending letters to him,” Cook said. “It really moved me to become a part of it; I told my kids the next day and they were all for it.”

Junior and peer counselor Isabella Mestroni said she decided to show support because she wanted to help Thompson take his mind off the illness during the holiday season.

“This is so important since it’s something small, yet it makes a big impact on that person’s life,” Mestroni said. “It’s good to remind [Thompson] that he isn’t alone and there are people that want to help him.”

The peer counselors started creating cards in early November to ensure they would be sent in time for Christmas to Thompson. Cook said they started their process early since Thompson already decorated his room with Christmas decor, and the students wanted to get the cards to him on time.

“The students were very excited about this project and felt like this small gesture would have a positive impact on [Thompsons] Christmas,” Cook said.

Shortly after sending the cards in early November, Thompson celebrated Christmas with his family on Nov. 12 and passed away a week later. He received many of the letters and wishes from people from all around the country.

“It was a very upsetting situation, so we tried to help and hopefully made him feel a bit better,” Senior and peer counselor Heather Lemus said. “It felt good to know that we helped grant his wish of celebrating the holidays with a smile.”

Cook said she encouraged students from all classes to support the cause and send Thompson a letter. Senior Aleeza Sultan said it was difficult to create her card because she had no personal connection with Jacob.

“In the end, I just stopped overthinking what to write and just wrote what came to mind, and it ended up coming out well,” Sultan said.

For two days, the peer counselors worked on their cards; they doodled Christmas trees and wrote their wishes to Jacob.

“It’s really awesome to see so many people wanting to help to make someone else’s day better,” D’Oliveira said. “Doing small things is what makes someone smile or have a happier day so it’s nice to be a part of something like that.”

 

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