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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

45 people hearted this



Lisa Meyer
By Lisa Meyer
Glad the reports you received were positive! We continue to pray for Jack and his family--such a hard road to travel.
Marilyn Bassett
By Marilyn Bassett
Continued prayers.
Nancy McKeon
By Nancy McKeon
So thankful for you!!
Nadine Marcellus
By Nadine Marcellus
Fantastic news! Continued prayers for Jack and you family. Safe travels and God Bless all of you.
Herb and Barb Anderson
By Herb and Barb Anderson
Praise God for good reports today! Travel safely back to Nebraska! I hope Jack had the opportunity to watch the BIG RED play last night. The second half was astounding and I know Jack wouild LOVE it! GBR! May the Lord put His healing hand on Jack's tumor and cause it to resolve. We just prayed for God's complete healing for you! Keep looking UP and thanks for keeping us informed. Psalms 46:1--God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Victoria Johnson
By Vicky Johnson
God is good! Praying stil......
Vicki Grummert
By Vicki Grummert
Sure loved reading your good report! I'll take a minute to give thanks and then be grateful for your happiness, the Husker win against Northwestern and for the upcoming World Series baseball games with an exciting Royals team!
1 person hearted this
Brad Loseke
By Brad Loseke
Glad to hear the good news. Such an inspiration. Prayer of a righteous man availeth much!

Blessings to you guys. Here's to a complete remission for Jack!B
1 person hearted this
Chris Foix
By Chris Foix DDS
Stay strong Hoffmans!! We are all pulling for you and for Jack!
2 people hearted this
Dana Trawicki
By Dana Trawicki
So happy for all of you!!! Continued prayers for you all!!!
2 people hearted this