Before dying, 16-year-old Jeremiah Thomas made his last wish known to the world – no more abortions.
The Texas teen died on Sunday after a six-month battle with bone cancer, KWTX 10 reports.
Thomas loved football and led his Parkview Christian Academy team to victory in 2017, not long before he was diagnosed with osteoblastic osteosarcoma, according to the report.
“He loved everybody that he came in contact with, and showed love and he showed the love of Christ on everything he did and someone who could just could make you laugh,” football coach Bryce Frazier said.
But just as much, the teen loved the most vulnerable, defenseless human beings in America today: unborn babies.
When he was granted a Make-A-Wish Foundation request earlier this year, Thomas did not ask for anything for himself. Instead, he used it to ask Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to end abortions.
“For my wish, I wanted to talk to you and discuss a bill of abolition [to end abortion],” Jeremiah told the governor on a video call in June. “Sir, you would be representing the demands of Texans if you would pass this bill. We could end abortion here and now.”
His wish garnered national media attention, and Jeremiah, the son of Rusty Thomas, the national director of Operation Save America, received hate mail in response. Some people said they wished he would die sooner, while one person joked that his cancer was giving his mother a really late-term abortion.
But the dying teen responded to the hate with compassion. In a video earlier this month, he said, “Sometimes bravery involves giving up on everything you’ve ever known, for everyone you’ve ever loved or everything you’ve ever wanted for the sake of something greater.”
On Monday, the Waco Tribune-Herald paid tribute to the young man by praising him for his courage in the face of a terminal illness and hateful comments.
Sports columnist Brice Cherry wrote:
Now, wherever you come down on the hot-button issue of abortion, you ought to admire a teenager who has such courage in his convictions that he wants to spend the last days of his life trying to affect change. Unfortunately, not everyone felt that way – as Jeremiah experienced a backlash of hateful comments on social media, including people who said that they wished he were dead.
Again, displaying a wisdom and a maturity far beyond his years, Jeremiah didn’t condemn his attackers.
“I pity them,” Jeremiah said in an interview with the website Operation Save America. “To have that much darkness in your heart that you’d want a kid with cancer to die. Makes me wonder what happened to them in their life. It’s a scary place to be — mentally and spiritually. I pray God would have mercy on them.”
According to his obituary, he ministered outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility every week until his health no longer permitted him to do so.
Jeremiah was the youngest of 13 children. He was preceded in death by his mother, Elizabeth Ann Thomas.
His funeral is scheduled for Friday. Later that evening, his high school football team will pay tribute to him during its first game of the season.