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Jack’s Story

To join Jack & his family in the fight against pediatric brain cancer please go to:


On April 22, 2011, Jack was life flighted to Children’s Hospital Omaha after suffering a life threatening seizure. An MRI showed a lesion in the left temporal lobe. Doctors feared HSV Encephalitis, a life threatening brain virus. A rigorous 21-day treatment followed. Later testing revealed our worst fear--a brain tumor.

On May 20, 2011, a tumor resection surgery was attempted.  Only a small amount of the tumor was removed.  The remaining tumor was declared inoperable.  Pathology revealed a cancerous glioma. During this time, Jack battled the onset of Secondary Epilepsy--a condition caused by the tumor.  After April 22, Jack suffered frequent partial seizures, sometimes upto 10 a day. The seizures persisted despite high dosages of two anti-seizure medications.

Specialists at Children's Hospital Boston were consulted in August 2011. Pediatric Neurosurgeon Liliana Goumnerova indicated that she felt she could likely safely resect the tumor, and at the same time achieve seizure relief by using intraoperative electrocorticography.  Jack's 2nd brain surgery in 5 months occurred at Boston on October 10th.  The second surgery went great.  After surgery, Dr. Goumnerova came out of the operating room smiling.  Dr. Goumnerova removed a golf ball sized tumor.  Nearly all of the tumor was removed, with the possible exception of a small amount of residual near the brain stem.  Thankfully, since the second surgery, Jack has not suffered a single seizure and is doing great clinically.  

In January, Jack traveled to Boston for his first follow-up MRI.  On January 11, 2012, the MRI looked great as the "spot" showed no sign of growth.  Jack's neurologist then aggressively began tapering Keppra.  By March 22, 2012, Jack was down to one anti-seizure medicine.

A 6-month post operation MRI on April 18, 2012 in Boston surprisingly revealed a progression of the "spot." The "spot" is inoperable.  Doctors have now decided that chemotherapy was the next best therapy. Accordingly, Jack had a port surgery on April 26, 2012 and began 60 weeks of chemotherapy on April 27, 2012, at CH Omaha.  His chemotherapy will continue until approximately July 2013.

Jack and his family have received incredible support.  Jack has a very loving family and community.  Nebraska's Rex Burkhead has also helped make people aware of Jack's fight by so graciously wearing a "Team Jack - Pray" wristband during the 2011 and 2012 football seasons. We thank God for his involvement in Jack's life, as well as the thousands of supporters across the country.  God is good.

Jack and his family gives thanks and praise to Jesus for all of Jack's prayer warriors, supporters, and followers.  God Bless you all for your touching and overwhelming support.  


Andy, Bri, Jack, Ava & Reese

Latest Journal Update

Another MRI in the Books ...

After a day full of appointments and tests--blood labs, MRI, echo-cardiogram--we were again thankful that so much energy and effort is put into Jack's clinical trial.  From ensuring treatment effectiveness to making sure that the side effects aren't hurting his heart and other bodily functions, it is hard not to be grateful for a day like today.  Adding to the things to be grateful for was the news that we absolutely never get sick of and are overjoyed to hear each and every time--that the MRI showed that Jack's brain tumor is STABLE.  For the past year, our family has lived off of a steady diet of "STABLE" MRIs and we are so thankful each and every time we hear that word.  An absolute relief to anxious hearts.  Too many kids, all too often, do not get that news.

Nearly one year ago to the date doctors told us that Jack's tumor was on the move and that we were going to need to pursue treatment. Unsure of which direction to go, we started this clinical trial.  Today, from a future treatment standpoint, things started to crystallize a bit for Mom and Dad in terms of treatment direction.  We will wait again, to make any decisions, however, for the next MRI, which is in September.  Until then, full speed ahead with the GSK drug and trial, and prayers.  Thank you everyone for continuing to keep Jack in your prayers, especially on these nervous days.

On a side note, perhaps the other greatest news that we heard over the past 24 hours was that fellow brain tumor warrior (and cutie pie) Emma Gehring had a blood test on Sunday which revealed that her blood cell counts (she's on chemo treatment now) were high enough for her to take her Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World.  On Sunday, Bri had the chance to run the Huskers/Uplifting Athletes Road Race with Emma's mom Kathryn. At that point, it was touch-and-go as to whether Emma would be able to go due to low counts on the prior day.  When we heard that Emma was going to get to see Mickey and Minnie our hearts were smiling.  Please keep the Gehrings in your prayers, especially Emma, as they travel to Disney World.  Even the slightest fever or sign of sickness could put an abrupt halt to their trip.  Prayers up Emma and here's to a wonderful trip!

Thank you everyone for your prayers.  They are bigger than you could possibly imagine.  Have a great night and a super rest-of-your week.

God Bless,

Andy, Bri, Jack, Ava & Reese

65 people hearted this



rebecca mccoy
Praise God for the good news! I will continue my prayers for Jack and you all and all the other children fighting similar battles. May God always be with you.
Kay Johnson
By Kay Johnson
I'm so very HAPPY to hear this news. Jack you are my HERO. GBR
Kay Johnson
By Kay Johnson
I'm so very HAPPY to hear this news. Jack you are my HERO. GBR
Betty Primeaux
By Betty Primeaux
Prayers for Emma to enjoy her trip and getting to meet Mickey, Minnie, and all of the others at Disney World.
Great news that all is stable for Jack. That is wonderful. Keep going strong Jack. We love you!
Donna Krings
By Tom and Donna
Happy tears this morning for Jack and family, as well as Emma and family. Continued prayers! Thank you for sharing the journey! Peace and blessings!
1 person hearted this
Amy Marks
By Amy in FL
Oh such wonderful news - love that word "STABLE"!! And the prayers continue!

Also, thank you for your words for Emma - may she have an extra special, happy trip to meet Mickie and Minnie!
Roxanne Chocholousek
By Roxie Chocholousek.
Yes "stable " is a good word!!! We are always thankful to hear that as well. So glad the test were all so good!!! Yeah!!! Celebrate!!!
kelly petersen
By Kelly
Grateful for the wonderful news. Continued prayers for you all and all others suffering from cancer.
Bev Francis
We are so happy to see this news! Your family is amazing for all the work and energy you are doing for cancer on a daily basis. So happy for you! Prayers will continue from here.
1 person hearted this
Deb Kaup
By Deb Kaup
Always great to hear the good reports. It was nice to see your kids not wasting any time between rides at the carnival.