Former Husker and now Bengal back Rex Burkhead has helped motivate Jack Hoffman.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Jack Has a Mild Setback, Watches Rex in KC

By NU Athletic Communications
Randy York's N-Sider
    Official Blog of the Huskers

Jack Hoffman’s family experienced a mild setback Wednesday with some disappointing news in Boston, but the family had an uplifting experience Thursday night.  The Hoffman family watched the Kansas City Chiefs outlast the Cincinnati Bengals, 41-39, at Arrrowhead Stadium.  Jack wore a Bengals’ jersey to honor No. 33, Rex Burkhead, his friend, role model and inspiring buddy.  Burkhead rushed for 21 yards on five carries, including one run for nine yards.  Andy Hoffman, Jack’s dad, said the experience was a special treat for Jack the day after a tough diagnosis in Boston. 

Oh Wednesday, the family was “humbly reminded that when your child has an inoperable brain tumor, anything can happen at any point in time,” Andy wrote on Jack’s CaringBridge website.  “Despite Jack’s tumor being declared stable and in remission last October, we learned today that is no longer the case.  While we left Boston in April with the knowledge that there was a spot of concern, we remained optimistic that it was nothing.”

In July, Jack helped Uplifting Athletes raise $30,000 for pediatric brain cancer.

Tumor Has Grown; Surgery Now an Option

For the Hoffmans, Wednesday was a full day of appointments that included an MRI and discussions with a neuro-surgeon and neuro-oncologist.  “Doctors informed us that Jack’s brain tumor has grown since the April MRI,” Andy said, adding that the tumor reoccurrence will require some type of therapy.  Resection is possible and “surgery is now an option,” Andy said.  “Other options include a third neurosurgery and/or a second round of chemotherapy.”

Among the chemotherapy options to consider is a clinical trial in Boston and a therapy which would target a specific genetic mutation.  “Jack’s tumor was tested for this after his 2011 surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital,” Andy said.  “Like other cancer treatments, this poses a secondary cancer risk and has side effects.  Plus, it would involve extensive travel, so we’re checking on availability of the same trial in Denver.”

Jack and buddy Rex Burkhead were invited to visit the White House.

Doctors Will Make a Recommendation Thursday

On Thursday, Jack’s team of doctors will analyze the options and make a final recommendation.  “Regardless, it will include a second round of chemotherapy,” Andy said before thanking Jack’s worldwide prayer supporters.

“Jack is doing great,” Andy emphasized.  “This is a mild setback and everyone remains optimistic for Jack, including and especially his mom and dad.  We love you all and can’t thank you enough for your support.”

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