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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

Medical Update from Boston

Today we give thanks to God for a good day of testing. After 3 1/2 years of battling a brain tumor, days like today are a special blessing.

On August 21st, we started Jack's second drug therapy for his inoperable brain tumor.  Today we learned, for the first time, that the targeted gene therapy appears to be working. According to the MRI report, the tumor has stopped growing (is stable) and is not enhancing as much as it was in August.  All of these are huge positives.  While we are happy with today's MRI, we have a tempered attitude given the ups and downs of the marathon treatment course.  Jack will return to Boston in November for further testing related to the trial, and another MRI in December.  In the meantime, we will continue to keep pushing the prayer envelope as hard as we can. 

On another note, Jack also had more testing related to his blood clot. The testing today was to determine as to whether or not Jack is at a stroke risk.  To make that determination, an ECHO was performed as well as a bubble test.  The bubble test was fascinating--a cardiologist pumped air/saline into the right atrium of his heart, to see if any of the bubbles went over to the left side of his heart.  This was to determine as to whether or not the clot could move from right to left.  If it could, then he would be at a stroke risk.  No bubbles moved to the other chamber (through a patent foramen ovale), so that was great news.  The cardiologist advised that we will just follow the clot and hope that it dissolves.  Often times it does, where a child develops a blood clot as a result of a chemo port placement.

Tomorrow we head back to Nebraska. Thank you to everyone who has been keeping Jack in your prayers.  We are so thankful for the many prayers and well-wishes that we receive on days like this. No matter how many MRIs we prepare for and sit through, the anxiety level is always high.  Prayers are the perfect medicine.

Thank you again for your amazing support.  Take care and have a great week.


Andy, Bri, Jack, Ava, and Reese

31 people hearted this



Diane Bennett
By Diane Bennett
This Nebraska Lady is so glad to see that things are going well and you are coming HOME !! Hugs and Prayers, Diane
1 person hearted this
Doris O'Brien
By Doris & John O'Brien & family
Such good news . . .and the journey continues. Jack, we are keeping you and your family in our prayers. Your "Nebraska family" is so proud of your brave example and will continue to wrap your family with our praying arms. We are all sending our love and support.
1 person hearted this
Irma Arens
By Allan & Irma Arens
Wonderful news!!!! Keeping u all in our prayers!
1 person hearted this
Carlene Burkhead
Oh WOW! Incredible news. I am so happy for the 'better' news. God is sooooooo good! You Rock Jack! Keep strong little man. We love you & your loving family sooo much. God bless!
1 person hearted this
Susie Dotson
By Susie Dotson
Praise God!! Thank you for the update! I sat in the infusion clinic next to my daughter getting chemo, while Jack received his chemo in winter 2013. I never forgot that day- I have prayed for your family daily since I meet you. Many prayers for continued good news updates!
1 person hearted this
Bill Scheibeler
By Bill Scheibeler
God Bless you all! Always in our thoughts and prayers!
1 person hearted this
Rolen Sell
By Rolen Sell
What an optimistic report! Please know that all of you are in my prayers each and every day. God Bless!
1 person hearted this
Jan Cyboron Johnson
By J Johnson
Great news. Continuing prayers for Jack and family. Keep up the fight buddy.
1 person hearted this
Kristi Kreuscher
By Kristi Kreuscher
Glad to read the good news! Praying for all of you. God is good!
1 person hearted this
Larry Poessnecker
By Larry Poessnecker
Praise God, once again for positive news!! Continued prayers or as we've heard before " we will pray without ceasing".
1 person hearted this