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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

83 people hearted this



Janet Butterfield
By Janet Butterfield
Thanks for the update! Great news and yes we will keep praying for Jack and his family.
monica waggoner
By Monica Waggoner
That's great news. So happy for Jack and the family.
Alysia Buss
By Alysia Buss
This is good news! Been thinking of u Hoffmans!!! Gooo Bigggg Reeed and also Team Jack
rebecca mccoy
Your news sounds very encouraging. Continued prayers for Jack and you all.
Arlie Rauch
By Arlie Rauch
Appreciate the update. We are NU alumni and Husker fans out of state. We join you to pray for Jack's full recovery. May you all know God's goodness and love throughout this ordeal.
Vickie Andersen
By Niles & Vickie Andersen
Outstanding news! Our God is an awesome God and he does answer prayers! We are so happy that all of you get to return to Nebraska for awhile. Safe travels.

We will continue our prayer chain for Jack. GBR!
Savana Brandt
By Savana Brandt
You are such great and strong parents ! And your lil man is so amazing ! You are all in my prayers and thoughts ! I couldnt even imagine what you guys are going through . But I believe the lord is good and he has showed the world how strong kids are and can be ! And your son is lucky to have you as parents ! Im from grand island ne and many people I know here all pray for your family ! So keep strong you are doing great !
Stacy Bartunek Sybrandts
By Stacy Bartunek Sybrandts
Wonderful news!! We will continue to pray for Jack and your entire family!
Nancy Kielhold
By Nancy Kielhold
Praise God!! This is wonderful news!!
We will continue with many prayers sent his way!!
The Kielholds!!
Shari Buettner
By Shari
Oh such great news and prayers will continue.