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Jack’s Story

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

WWW.TEAMJACKFOUNDATION.ORG

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.  

Love,

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.

Love,

Andy, Bri, Jack, Ava, and Reese












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Comments

66 Comments

Aleene Eury
By Aleene Eury
God is soooo good. Really glad to hear the good news.
Mike and Cindy Markley
By Mike, Cindy, and Jarod
We've been reading your recent posts-can't even imagine the emotional and physical toll everything must take on each of you. We are so grateful when we read about positive results on Jack's tests! To all you Hoffmans--hang in there and we will continue to keep you in our prayers. Love you guys!
Melissa Ostrander
By Melissa Ostrander
Saying prayers of thankfulness right now. God is good!! Tell Jack hi from Seth!!!
Betty Primeaux
By Betty Primeaux
Thank you and thanks be to God for this wonderful news! Praying constantly for Jack! He has stolen my heart.
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1 person hearted this
Susan Heanue
By sue hamsa
The stars are always shining...always.
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1 person hearted this
Barbara James
By Barbara James
So thankful for your great news! Prayers continue... <3
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Kim Lynam
By The Lynam family
Awesome news!! You are all in our thoughts and prayers!! Stay strong, Jack!! Lots of people are cheering for you. We were in Chicago for the Husker game and saw lots of Team Jack shirts!!
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Chris Busing
By Chris Busing
Jack is such an inspiration and role model for so many. Having to go through this rigorous treatment at such an young age, and through any pics I have seen, staying upbeat and carefree as a child should be...that is something that all of us, young or old, should strive for. What I think of when I have things that aren't going right in my life, is how Jack and others like him, are dealing with much worse and yet find the strength to put a smile on. Thank you for the great update on his road to recovery, and you and your family will remain in my prayers, not only now, but forever.
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Janet Butterfield
By Janet Butterfield
Thanks for the update! Great news and yes we will keep praying for Jack and his family.
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monica waggoner
By Monica Waggoner
That's great news. So happy for Jack and the family.
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1 person hearted this