Boy Who Got Pillow Pets For Sick Children Dies

Family Grieves Over Jacob McConahay

A 7-year-old boy who was an inspiration to the community after organizing a drive to collect and distribute thousands of toys to young patients all over central Indiana lost his battle with cancer late Wednesday.

According to a post on the family's site on Caring Bridge, Jacob McConahay, of Westfield, died late Wednesday after battling Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer that attacks the body's soft tissue and organs.

In March, 6News profiled McConahay's heartwarming story of seeing a need and working to address it. He made it his mission to comfort children suffering from illnesses by giving them a Pillow Pet, a plush stuffed animal.

With his Pillow Pet, Rexi, by his side, McConahay put together a plan to gather and distribute the toys to other sick children.

By four months into his quest, Jake had collected nearly 2,000 Pillow Pets from classmates, local churches and the maker of the toy.

"Millions of Pillow Pets, I think that's my goal," Jake told 6News in March. "(I want to) give them to the kids at Riley (Hospital for Children). It will make them happy."

Taylor Bailey, 5, was one of the recipients of a Pillow Pet from McConahay.

"It just lifted her spirits and made her feel a little bit more at ease as to what was going on," said Christina Bailey, Taylor's mother.

In a mournful message on Caring Bridge, McConahay's mother posted that Jake "will always be a part of me," and told her son, "U have changed my life."

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