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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 (December 2014 version)

Today was a busy day in Boston for Jack and Mom. Jack had an MRI this morning and then a meeting with his pediatric neuro-oncologist (Dr. Susan Chi) and then over to cardiology for an EKG and echocardiogram.
Earlier today we were comforted by one of our favorite medical words in the brain tumor business -- STABLE.  Today's MRI, as compared to the August and October scans, shows good stability.  This is very good news. After coming home from Boston on prior trips, filled with the uncertainty of "where do we go from here", you really can't put into words how good this feels.  Truly, this is all any of us wanted for Christmas.

As for the heart testing, we have not yet heard from the cardiologist. The blood clot, we think, based upon a prior scan and further consultation, may be gone.  However, we are hoping to confirm that with today's echo and further testing. Obviously these scans are being done to monitor for other possible concerns, as well.  We will keep you posted.

Thank you everyone for keeping Jack in your prayers. This will be Jack's 4th Christmas since being diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Regrettably, there are so many kids that aren't able to say that. We rejoice at his gift of life and hope and pray for all of those other kiddos who we have met along the way and mean so much to us.  Please keep all childhood cancer families in your prayers this Christmas season.

Take care and have a Merry Christmas. We love you all.


Andy, Bri, Jack, Ava & Reese

PS -- The photo was a screen shot of a "Facetime" chat between Boston and Atkinson.  Dad and Jack were trying to see who could make a goofier face.  Jack won.  Dad is such a dork.

75 people hearted this



Beverlyann Brunswick
By Beverlyann Brunswick.
Good news. Merry Christmas to you all.Wishing you all a great week.
Cathe McCaffrey
So happy to hear! At this time of overindulgence, one needs to stop and think about what the true blessings at Christmas are. God's blessings and love to the Hoffman family from Alliance, Nebraska. I love your face that you made at your dad, Jack! It is one of the best weird faces I've ever seen and I've seen a lot being a 5th grade teacher!
Anne Fangman
By Anne Fangman
That is such good news! We are so happy that the tumor is stable. Have a wonderful and Merry Christmas. Please tell the kids hello from Audrey and Ollie:) Take care-Anne, Scott, Audrey and Ollie
Becky Olson
By Becky Olson
The miracles continue!! Have a fabulous holiday!!!
Rochelle Haun
By Rochelle and Bill Haun
Another blessing! May God keep granting you more and more until the greatest blessing of all is finally here. NO MORE CANCER!!!! Prayers and Christmas Blessings from our house in Spencer!
Angie Greer
By Angie G.
Prayers from Husker Nation! :)
Sue Jewell
By Sue Jewell
God's blessings to all of you this Christmas and years to come! Go Team Jack and GBR!
rebecca mccoy
Prayers continue for Jack and you all. Have a blessed Christmas.
Diane Bennett
By Diane Bennett
I'm praying that the blood clot is gone and YEAH for brain tumor being STABLE !!! Hugs and Prayers, Diane
Nancy Kielhold
Prayers will continue to be sent your say - and yes, hearing the word "STABLE" is a good thing.
Wishing you & your family a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year!!

Nick & Nancy Kielhold and family
P.S. Love the screen shot of the goody faces!!!