Jack’s Story

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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

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it ....

In Boston, you cannot see across the street because the snow piles in between are so incredibly high.  And they're getting higher.  What a winter these folks are having. Last night Jack and Dad arrived in Boston around 10:35 p.m., after being placed on their third different connecting flight (the other two were cancelled).  They were extremely fortunate to get into Boston last night, as most of the alternate flights Delta was looking at, ended up getting cancelled this morning.  The good Lord's hands were all over their trip--both in scheduling and safety.  

After a short night's rest, today was a busy day for Jack and dad.  All said, Jack underwent an MRI, EKG, echocardiogram, and two separate doctor's visits. Generally, everything went as well as could be hoped for.  The MRI showed that the tumor remains "stable."  While every parent of a brain tumor child prays for that clean, no evidence of disease MRI, we continue to be thankful for this result.  God is good. So many kids, even after rounds of treatment, cannot get their tumor to be "stable."  We celebrate this news and are so thankful for it.  As important, clinically, Jack continues to please the doctors with how well he is doing. 

Jack and Dad were scheduled to fly back early tomorrow morning, in time to make a 2 p.m. ophthalmology appointment in Omaha (check-up due to tumor location near his optic nerve).  Mother nature and Delta got together and changed all of that again.  Now they are scheduled for a 5 p.m. departure and late arrival into Omaha.  We are just thankful that the airline industry puts emphasis on safe travel.  A little weather is a small price to pay.

Thank you to everyone for your unending prayers for our son Jack.  Thank you also for keeping all of those other childhood cancer families in your prayers as well.  Have a blessed week and we thank you for your support. 

Andy, Bri, Jack, Ava & Reese 

71 people hearted this



Carol Hall
By Carol Hall
Glad yo read this report. Continued prayers. Gigi"s Grandma Carol Hall.
Greg M
By Greg
Good news for a good Son, brother , and friend.
Kathi Larson
By Kathi Larson
Margorie Osborne
I am just reading again and I stopped and PRAISED GOD for good report and YOUR SAFE Travels.. Prayers continue for Jack and others battling cancer, and for Jack's family.. I am looking forward to seeing Jack coming home from school, we have been gone and I haven't been taking Nate home, seeing Jack playing and jumping on trampoline!! Course Mother Nature hasn't cooperated a lot, but even on snowy cold days, see the kids 'walking home', temps don't seem to bother them, awesome. Nothing like good ole NE fresh air. Will see him & others this week... Our Love & Prayers....
Carlene Burkhead
Hey Jack & Andy. Sooooooo glad & thankful you all made it safely. Still praying for you Jack, your family & all the others battling this horrible thing ~ cancer. Thank you for your update. Blessings to you all. God is great! I posted on my IPAD, but it isn't showing up on computer, so if you get 2 messages, just consider that we are twice as thankful. :)
1 person hearted this
Aleene Eury
By Aleene Eury
God is soooo Good. Praying every day for heAling
Hilda Flannery
By Hilda Flannery
glad for the good news. Prayers go out to all the other children.
Beverlyann Brunswick
By Beverlyann Brunswick.
Glad you made it there. The weather here is cold. Glad that the tests were still stable.Pray for safe travel.
Jaci Harmon
By Jaci Harmon
Good news for Jack and all the family. Safe travels to Dad and Jack! Prayers will continue!
By KAREN & Paul Seger
Like good news glad that things are going well was worried about the weather glad you could make it in hope you can make it back