Tributes to be paid to Jacob Kaplan ’18

He fought angiosarcoma, a rare cancer, for over eight months

Jacob Kaplan, the student whose GoFundMe campaign brought the Princeton community together in April and raised more than $130,000, died on Sunday after an eight-month battle with cancer. He was 21.

Kaplan, originally a member of the Class of 2018, was known for his humor and took pride that his birthday fell on April Fool’s Day. In mid-December, the Center for Jewish Life launched the #GoodDeedsforJacob initiative to do acts of kindness in his honor, explaining in a Facebook that “Jacob loves to make people laugh and smile.”

He was also a co-captain of Club Baseball and a member of the Quadrangle Club, which held a charity auction for his benefit in April. The Tennis Club also held a fundraiser for him in May.

Kaplan received his diagnosis — stage 4 angiosarcoma, a rare cancer occurring in fewer than one in 10,000 cancer patients — three days after his twenty-first birthday. After withdrawing for the spring 2017 semester, he returned to Princeton University in the fall to complete his degree in computer science.

His cancer had appeared to be receding in August, but on December 1 he was admitted to the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro due to related complications. He was later transferred to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he stayed on life support until his death.

Numerous university students, faculty members, and staff from the Center for Jewish Life had visited Kaplan during his stay at UMCPP.

“It has been amazing,” Kaplan said in an April interview with The Tab, shortly after his diagnosis, “to feel the support and love pour from family, friends, and strangers who’ve banded together to help me get treatment.”

“I found myself crying seeing the sheer amount of support,” he added.

A memorial service will be held for Kaplan.

Princeton University