2022 Team Jack Foundation Returns In-Person to Raise Awareness for Pediatric Brain Cancer

Feb. 27, 2022, 1 p.m. ·

Rex Burkhead, dressed in a blue suit and tied, speaks at the Team Jack Foundation Gala in 2022. A dark curtain and a Team Jack Foundation banner are behind him.
Rex Burkhead talks about Jack Hoffman and his dad, Andy, who passed last year with a rare form of brain cancer. Burkhead attended the 2022 Team Jack Foundation Gala in Lincoln to raise awareness for pediatric brain cancer. (Photo by Aaron Bonderson, Nebraska Public Media News)

Jack Hoffman of Atkinson, a 1,200-person town in northern Nebraska, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010 at the age of five. He battled and survived seizures, life-threatening surgery, and chemotherapy. Before another critical surgery in 2011, Hoffman became friends with former Nebraska football player Rex Burkhead through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Hoffman is in high school now, and Burkhead continues to be inspired by Hoffman’s courage after all he’s been through.

“They didn’t know how long he had. They didn’t know what was next for them, as far as treatments, checkups, and all that was going,” Burkhead said. “And so, just to see him now in his high school years, you know, playing high school football last year is special and just a treat to see.”

At the 9th annual Team Jack Foundation Gala in Lincoln, Burkhead said a lot has changed since the last time the gala was in-person three years ago. Jack Hoffman’s dad, Andy, passed away in March 2021, after fighting a rare form of brain cancer. Andy Hoffman pioneered the Team Jack Foundation, which has raised more than $9-million for pediatric brain cancer research.