WENTZVILLE, Mo. — The Wentzville community is coming together to honor the life of a young boy who died of cancer during a special trip. 

Parker Jackson was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare childhood soft tissue cancer, about a year and a half ago. He and his family recently visited Florida to fulfill a special request. The 12-year-old boy wanted to swim with the dolphins, and he got the chance to do so thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“This past Friday, we were made aware that one of our Wish children, 12-year-old Parker, lost his battle with cancer shortly after his wish to swim with the dolphins was fulfilled,” Caroline Schmidt, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Missouri and Kansas, said in a statement.

“No number of words can express the pain that Parker’s parents are experiencing, and we ask our St. Louis community to support them during this difficult time,” the statement continued. “Parker has touched more lives than he will ever know, and his legacy will never be forgotten.” 

More than 3,000 people had been following Parker’s journey on the ParkerStrong Facebook page. On Wednesday, supporters and friends like Sarah Kline will welcome the Jackson family home when they return to Missouri and bring Parker to his final resting place.

“So many people followed him,” said Kline. “He’s touched so many people that they never knew him personally, but they knew him.”

First responders will accompany Parker and his family from Lambert St. Louis International Airport to Pittman Funeral Home in Wentzville. An event page on Facebook, titled Bringing Parker Home, will have more information about the route for those wanting to line up along overpasses and roads. 

For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/699246331223059/