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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

Update on Jack's Medical Condition (post-MRI update)

Needless to say, our family was riding high on Thursday as we were so thankful for the blessing of Wednesday's MRI.  Our spirits were dampened greatly on Thursday, as Jack and Mom were traveling home on Thursday.  After just getting on the airplane at Atlanta (connecting flight) and before leaving the gate, Jack began having a grand mal seizure.  Jack has not had a seizure in over 4 years.

The good Lord again took action, as a cardiologist and paramedic were on the same plane.  They quickly helped Bri lay Jack down and make sure he didn't aspirate.  It was very scary, as his skin was turning gray and it was difficult to hear breath sounds.  He regained his color before they found the ambu-bag and Jack was then removed from the plane by paramedics and rushed by ambulance to Spalding-Hughes Children's Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.  After arriving, Jack finally woke up and was able to speak.  While at Atlanta, Jack's neurologist at Boston Children's Hospital spoke with the ER physician and helped them devise a plan.  Needless to say, Jack left the ER late Thursday afternoon with a new prescription of Keppra (a drug he took shortly after the brain tumor was found).

Epilepsy has been a diagnosis that Jack has had since the brain tumor onset.  After his second surgery in October 2011, we were hopeful that seizures were a part of his past, not his future.  Regrettably, they are now front and center as a simultaneous concern.  Our physicians have always warned us that the seizures could return at any time because of the location of the tumor.  The temporal lobe (where Jack's tumor is) is a common location for seizures to originate from and Jack has had irritation in this area both from the tumor and the surgery.  We are told that the seizures are not necessarily related to tumor growth but it is hard for parents not to worry about it anyway...

The best news though, is this: Jack and Mom arrived in Atkinson on Friday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. Not sure hugs have ever felt so good, all the way around.

Thank you everyone for all of the prayers. We appreciate everyone's amazing support and friendship.  Have a fantastic weekend with your family. 

God Bless,

Andy, Bri, Jack, Ava & Reese

50 people hearted this



Brenda Lamp
By Mark & Brenda Lamp
So sorry to hear of the seizure. I'm sure it was a very scary time...but thank God there were people there to help and the plane was still on the ground. Prayers to Jack and family.
1 person hearted this
Karen Kuxhausen
By Karen Kuxhausen
So glad there were medical personnel in the plane! How scary! Prayers of thankfulness that Jack is okay and he and his mom are home. Praying also that the medicine keeps the seizures away. May God bless all of you!
1 person hearted this
Jean Hopkins
By Jean Hopkins
Praise God for the medical people on that plane! Glad everything turned out good but what a scare for your wife! Thankful they are home and all is well again. Hopefully this is not going to be a returning issue.
1 person hearted this
Diane Morgan
Thank God you had competent medical people right there. Continued prayers for Jack and family, such a scary event. Stay strong, God is ever present at your side! God bless!
1 person hearted this
Cindy Sorensen
By Cindy Sorensen
God's timing is always perfect. So glad He had placed the cardiologist and paramedic there to help in time of need. Keeping Jack and your family always in prayer. As a cancer patient myself of rare appendix cancer/PMP, I know firsthand how important research funding and awareness are for rare or orphan diseases. I applaud your efforts to help not only Jack but other children like him. May God always keep you in His care. Stay positive and hopeful and strong! #jackstrong
1 person hearted this
Annie Arington
By Annie Arington
Sorry to hear of the seizure but Jack's angels were with him through the physician and paramedic. Prayers for you all.
1 person hearted this
Linda Bob Ternus
By Linda Bob Ternus
Prayers and Hugs to Jack and Family. That was very scary for sure. God was working by having the Dr and Paramedic at the same place. God Bless ~ God is Good. All the time!! Continuing prayers.
1 person hearted this
David Van Asperen
By David Van Asperen
Lots of prayers to Jack and his amazing family. Scary journey, sorry the news is not better at this time . Praying that healing will take place .I am not equipped with the right words, but God is in control.
1 person hearted this
Ashley Olsen
By Ashley Olsen
So so sorry. Hugs to all.
1 person hearted this
Jean Vinzenz
By Jean Vinzenz
Thank God there were people to help Jack and Bri! How scary that must of been. I'm sorry to read this, as always my prayers continue for Jack and family.
1 person hearted this