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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

April 2015 MRI Update

Hi Friends,

The uneasy feeling that begins to creep into your heart days before an MRI has an unsettling effect. A person's faith certainly helps calm it, but still it is there. I think that's just life.  Human nature.

Today, the uneasy feeling quickly evaporated when Dr. Susan Chi (Jack's pediatric neuro-oncologist) shared with Bri (and dad over speaker phone) that Jack's tumor remains stable and therapy continues to do its job.  We have had the opposite report enough times to know that this is always a milestone in a brain tumor battle and one that deserves celebrated. Tonight, we give thanks to all of you, Jack's devout prayerful support group.

In addition to the MRI news, we were also informed that the clinical trial that Jack is on had a recent change in protocol.  As a result of this change, as well as other factors, Jack can have his dosage amount increased.  While it is unknown as to what impact this might have on the tumor, Mom and Dad have opted to increase the dosage.  As a result, we had to go through another round of patient consents, as we learned about the increased risks that this may create.  

We are now praying for a safe trip home for Jack & Mom.  Jack plans to be back in school tomorrow with his friends in Atkinson. Hope this Nebraska April fog cooperates!

Thank you again for all of the prayers, well-wishes, text messages and calls. Such amazing support.  We couldn't be more thankful for all of you.

Have a super week.

God Bless,

Andy, Bri, Jack, Ava & Reese


104 people hearted this



Marcee Muller
By Marcee Muller
Jack, Your continue to be in my prayers and thoughts along with your family and hope that you continue to have good reports. Have a good day in school tomorrow.
Kathy Uldrich
By Kathy Uldrich
May God continue to bless you abundantly!
michele hrbek
By michele hrbek
Andy we are always thinking of your family. We wear our t shirts proud! Your family is always in our thoughts and prayers. Love
Carlene Burkhead
By Don & Carlene Burkhead
Thanking and Praising God for the awesome news. Also prayers for a safe trip back for Jack and Bri. May God continue to bless your family. Love you all.
Carole Witt
By Carole Witt
So glad to see the God news.
Becki Cusimano
By Becki C.
Been thinking about you all week. God is good!
Jill Murphy
By Jill Murphy
Love and prayers continuing here!
Karen Wiemers
By Karen Wiemers
Been praying for Jack for a very long time, but first time to post here. God is good and I am so thankful for the good news. We've got your back, Jack and family!
rebecca mccoy
By rebecca mccoy
Love and prayers continue for Jack and you all. God will hold you in His hand.
Rochelle Haun
By Rochelle Haun
To God be the glory! Keep the faith! God is with you every step of the way. Happy for the positive results. We will continue praying!