PORTLAND, Maine — Nine-year-old Jacob Thompson loves Christmas, but his doctors in Maine have told his parents he may succumb to his advanced-stage cancer before then. So his family is planning an early Christmas for him and asking people to send Jacob homemade Christmas cards now.

WCSH-TV reports Jacob was diagnosed at age 5 with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a cancer that starts in the nerve cells and generally affects infants and young children.

The TV station says Jacob’s his family will decorate his hospital room with a Christmas tree, lights and fake snow. Santa Claus also will be there.

Roger Guay says his son loves getting Christmas cards and is particularly fond of homemade cards.

The cards should be sent to Jacob at Maine Medical Center, 22 Bramhall St., Portland, ME 04102.