Jack has been off treatment for three months, and his tumor hasn’t grown. He is likely to need more treatment eventually, but doctors say that’s no guarantee. The family says there is a 33-percent chance he’s simply done getting cancer treatment.
Jack was diagnosed with brain cancer two years ago at age 5 and nearly died from a seizure. When doctors examined him they found a mostly inoperable tumor on his brian. The tumor was causing a type of epilepsy that gave Jack seizures that even medicine wouldn’t stop.
A specialist removed most of the tumor during a second brain surgery. That stopped the seizures but the remaining 5 percent of the tumor was still a problem.
At the time, Jack’s favorite Cornhusker was running back Rex Burkhead and the family asked Nebraska if there was any way their son could meet his hero.
Burkhead invited Jack and his family to hang out for a day and tour the facility. That season, Burkhead wore a wristband during games that read “Team Jack – Pray.”
And that’s what started all this. There is no way to know, of course, the effect Nebraska’s attention and encouragement had on Jack Hoffman. He is still too young to articulate it and we’re talking about doctors using scientific processes to eliminate a disease. But it is commonly acknowledged in medicine that a patient’s mental outlook, support from the outside, activity level and spirituality can have a positive impact on recovery.
That doesn’t mean Nebraska deserves credit for Jack’s progress. But the one thing the Nebraska football team could have done, it did, and the story keeps getting better.