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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

Update on Jack's Medical Condition (post-MRI update)

Needless to say, our family was riding high on Thursday as we were so thankful for the blessing of Wednesday's MRI.  Our spirits were dampened greatly on Thursday, as Jack and Mom were traveling home on Thursday.  After just getting on the airplane at Atlanta (connecting flight) and before leaving the gate, Jack began having a grand mal seizure.  Jack has not had a seizure in over 4 years.

The good Lord again took action, as a cardiologist and paramedic were on the same plane.  They quickly helped Bri lay Jack down and make sure he didn't aspirate.  It was very scary, as his skin was turning gray and it was difficult to hear breath sounds.  He regained his color before they found the ambu-bag and Jack was then removed from the plane by paramedics and rushed by ambulance to Spalding-Hughes Children's Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.  After arriving, Jack finally woke up and was able to speak.  While at Atlanta, Jack's neurologist at Boston Children's Hospital spoke with the ER physician and helped them devise a plan.  Needless to say, Jack left the ER late Thursday afternoon with a new prescription of Keppra (a drug he took shortly after the brain tumor was found).

Epilepsy has been a diagnosis that Jack has had since the brain tumor onset.  After his second surgery in October 2011, we were hopeful that seizures were a part of his past, not his future.  Regrettably, they are now front and center as a simultaneous concern.  Our physicians have always warned us that the seizures could return at any time because of the location of the tumor.  The temporal lobe (where Jack's tumor is) is a common location for seizures to originate from and Jack has had irritation in this area both from the tumor and the surgery.  We are told that the seizures are not necessarily related to tumor growth but it is hard for parents not to worry about it anyway...

The best news though, is this: Jack and Mom arrived in Atkinson on Friday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. Not sure hugs have ever felt so good, all the way around.

Thank you everyone for all of the prayers. We appreciate everyone's amazing support and friendship.  Have a fantastic weekend with your family. 

God Bless,

Andy, Bri, Jack, Ava & Reese

50 people hearted this


54 Comentarios

Mike and Cindy Markley
By Mike, Cindy, and Jarod
We were excited for your good reports from Boston and then so sad to hear about Jack's seizure. We will keep you in our prayers and hope that the medicine will get things on track! Take Care!
1 person hearted this
Lisa Meyer
By Lisa Meyer
So glad there was medical care on the plane. Praising God that He got them home safely to NE. Praying that there are no more seizures, and strength and peace for your hearts.
1 person hearted this
Trina Shaw
By Trina Shaw
Continued prayers for Jack and your whole family!! Seizures, by themselves, are scary. Praying the meds will keep them under control. Hugs from Kearney
1 person hearted this
Donna Krings
By Tom and Donna Krings
God is good! What a scare! Continued prayers for Jack and all.
1 person hearted this
Kathy Raabe
By Kathy Raabe
Prayers will continue of course, and in fact increase greatly.
1 person hearted this
Niki Ruda
By Niki & Company
I can't imagine the thoughts and feelings you must be experiencing. Thinking of you today and everyday! (((Hugs))) Continued prayers for what your family needs and for Jack's needs!
1 person hearted this
Charlene Juran
By Mel & Charlene Juran
Keeping you in our prayers, so glad there were people there who could be a great help.
1 person hearted this
Barbara James
By Barbara James
God Bless you all. Prayers continuing... <3
1 person hearted this
Margorie Osborne
By Margorie Osborne
"God is our protection and our strength, He always helps us in times of trouble.." Psalm 46:1.. Wow his verse came to mind when I head of Jack's seizure and our prayers were more... Was so glad when you said they were on plane, on way home.. God provided... God is with us at all times, but wow what a blessing to have Doctors on the plane!! Praise Him, Praise Him...
I so enjoy seeing the kids walking home each day.. Will miss that when Nate starts at West Holt. Love & Prayers to all.. Ken & Margorie
1 person hearted this