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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 is in the books, the countdown starts over ...

After a full day of poking, testing and scanning, Jack and Mom are ready to head home first thing tomorrow morning. In the midst of a busy day, we were once again reminded how incredibly blessed our son Jack is when Dr. Susan Chi (his pediatric neuro-oncologist) reported to us that his MRI was "rock stable."  Given what we know about this disease and how other children have struggled to get even one stable MRI, we cannot help but feel so completely full of gratitude. Deep breath.

Truly, you live life one MRI at a time when you have an inoperable brain tumor. Today's news is a welcome sign after daily prayers for no growth and stability. Now the MRI countdown starts over. Just so thankful we get to do it.  

Jack has just passed the 1-year anniversary of being on his clinical trial.  After a day of consults, we are going to keep Jack on the clinical trial for at least one more month, and possibly longer.  We are going to take it a visit at a time.  His body continues to handle the targeted drug therapy markedly well.  And with our biggest stretch of no tumor growth in the books (12+ months), therapy provides a nice safety blanket.  Stay tuned. 

Please know that we cannot thank you all enough for standing on the sideline and providing us with such incredible strength and support.  Love, support, prayers and encouragement continue to sustain us.  Nearly 5 years later, and we continue to feel overwhelmed with each Caringbridge post, e-mail, text message, or phone call. We are so grateful for you.  

Have a blessed week with your family. Thank you for the prayers. They sustain us.

Please keep all of those other amazing cancer kiddos and families in your prayers. It takes all hands on deck to beat this ugly disease!


Andy, Bri, Jack, Ava & Reese

70 people hearted this



Sally Finch
By Sally
AWESOME News!!! God is good all the time - All the time God is good!!!
vicki pecena
Thank you God for Jack's good report. Our prayers continue for him.
Nancy Kielhold
Wonderful news!! The power of prayer and incredible medical staff are incredible!!
Wishing Jack a great school year!!!
Nick & Nancy Kielhold
Nadine Marcellus
By Nadine Marcellus
Wonderful news! Continued prayers for all of you!
Janice Nichols
By Janice Nichols
Super awesome news!! Praise God!
Rebecka Schafer
By Rebecka Schafer
Great News! Thank you for the update.
Connie Jo Brost
By Connie Jo Brost
Heidi Jerke
By Ted & Heidi Jerke (Nate & Tiff's Small Group)
PRAISE THE LORD! Thank you for the update, we have been praying for all of you!