This story was sent to me and I wanted to post it as is Thanks for reading. Andy Hoffman is an attorney in O’Neill and below is his story.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As many of you already know, our son Jack was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in May 2011. After two neurosurgeries, lots of prayers, support from people like you, and the good Lord’s mercy, Jack is doing super. Presently seizure free and coming off of a good MRI, doctors are hopeful for Jack’s long term success.
Having said that, the only “real” cure for a brain tumor of Jack’s type is complete tumor removal. Jack has a small amount of tumor remaining, unfortunately. The first line chemotherapy is nearly 25 years old and has not changed. While neurosurgery technology and techniques have improved, chemotherapy has not. Children like Jack generally die from the chemotherapy itself. After 6-10 rounds of it, their organs will fail. While Jack has “dodged” chemotherapy so far, and doctors are putting it off as long as possible, it is something that he will likely need eventually.
As many of you also know, Rex Burkhead of the Nebraska Cornhuskers befriended Jack this past fall. During the fall season, Rex wore a “Team Jack-Pray” wristband for each game. A full-fledged relationship between Rex, Jack and our respective families has evolved and has been a wonderful experience for our family. While a lot of positives have come from this relationship (moral support, increased prayer support), one of the best things about Rex’s involvement in Jack’s life has been the awareness he has created for pediatric brain cancer. As only approximately 3,000 children each year are diagnosed with this rare disease, there is considerable underfunding. Right now, there are only two clinical trials going on for Jack’s type of cancer. Awareness is so important, because that is what gets the attention of the Federal government (which spends hundreds of millions each year on more known ailments, and rightfully so, such as breast cancer and aids). Pediatric Brain Cancer, particularly of Jack’s type, is not on their radar. Awareness gets it on their radar.
Long story short, Rex Burkhead has been nominated for a National Award by Uplifting Athletes – the Rare Disease Champion Award. If Rex receives this award, he will be presented with the award at a banquet where the National Institute of Health is present. The NIH is a major player in allocating Federal Funding for research. By voting for Rex and supporting Rex, you would be helping our family “Fight for A Cure”. The winner is selected by online voting.
As a personal favor, I would ask you to consider taking the following steps:
1. Vote for Rex here: http://www.upliftingathletes.org/take-action/rare-disease-champion#vote-now
2. Forward an e-mail request to everyone in your e-mail contact list, fellow-coworkers, family, and friends to vote for Rex and asking them to do the same thing I am asking you to do; and
3. Post a Request on Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace to Vote for Rex along with a link to the voting page. (Please do this every 3-5 days, if possible)
Everyone has been so generous and gracious to our family, and we appreciate that. Rex getting this award is not about more publicity for Jack and Rex. It is about getting people fired up to start paying attention to the No. 1 cancer killer in children. Your help is appreciated. Please feel free to forward this e-mail, if you would like.
God Bless and thank you for your consideration.