ATKINSON, Neb. — Andy Hoffman and his family have learned to take life “one MRI at a time.”
Hoffman and his wife, Brianna, are the parents of Jack Hoffman, the 7-year-old pediatric brain cancer patient who is best known for his 69-yard, ESPY-winning touchdown run in last year's Nebraska spring game and his friendship with former Cornhusker Rex Burkhead.
According to Jack's last MRI results in January, the cancer is still in remission, his dad said.
In April, Jack will undergo another MRI. He will continue to receive them every three months for about two years.
“We just take it one MRI at a time,” Hoffman said. “We're in as good a place as you probably could be for a kid who has an inoperable brain tumor. It's dormant.”
Hoffman said the frustrating thing is that doctors tell the family that there is a greater than 50 percent chance the cancer will return.
Hoffman said they feel fortunate that they can do something to help Jack and other children battling brain cancer. Raising funds for research improves the odds for other children.
Toward that end, the inaugural Team Jack Foundation Gala will be March 8 at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln. The event will start at 6 p.m.
ESPN's Shelley Smith, who is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate, will host the event. Burkhead, who now plays for the Cincinnati Bengals, will deliver a special message.
“He's an incredible guy and we're blessed to have his support. I also appreciate Bo (Pelini) and his wife, Mary Pat, serving as honorary co-chairs,” Hoffman said.
Four NFL players will attend. In addition to Burkhead, Jared Crick of the Houston Texans, Danny Woodhead of the San Diego Chargers and Alex Henery of the Philadelphia Eagles plan to participate.
Dr. Lilana Goumnerova, chief of pediatric neuro-oncological surgery at Boston Children's Hospital, will be a special guest speaker. Hoffman said Goumnerova performed Jack's second surgery.
Seating for the fundraiser is limited. Tickets will be available online through Monday for $150 each, or businesses can purchase tables for $2,000.
The event begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and program at 7 p.m. There also will be silent and live auctions.
To buy tickets or become a sponsor for the event, go to TeamJackFoundation.org or call 855-RUN-JACK.