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Andy Hoffman Updates

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Thank you for visiting the medical update page for Andy Hoffman, Co-Founder of the Team Jack Foundation. Andy was diagnosed with Glioblastoma in late July 2020. Now, he and his son, Jack, are both fighting brain cancer. To be notified of updates on Andy, click the button below.

Update 9: February 20, 2021
Written by Andy’s wife, Brianna. I am posting an update for Andy Hoffman because we have had an eventful month and he is not able to do so himself (and I’m sure he would want to.) Bear with me as Andy was the one who steered me through English composition in college. 🙂
 
MRI’s from early January were as good as he has had, and did not show enough tumor to treat so he got a month off from radiation (he has already had 3 different treatments) and continued his chemo. We had a great month with lots of hanging out with the kids (see photo) ❤. His walking was slowing getting worse (walking to the neighbors’ instead of 1/2 mile) but I was not overly concerned because we were planning to do treatment at his next visit in early February.
 
He was scheduled for follow-up MRIs at the beginning of February but he developed a slight cough at the end of January and his oncologist requested a Covid test. This unfortunately was positive and put our world in a tailspin. He did not do his chemo. Thanks to our awesome team at West Holt, Andy quickly got a monoclonal antibody infusion and did great. He recovered and had no symptoms after about day 5. Also unfortunately though, once you have a positive Covid test you are not allowed to go to your appointments until is has been 20 days because he is immunocompromised. This worried us because his neurological symptoms were worsening each day.
 
By Feb. 8, he had significantly declined so we went to Rochester to the ER, because we had no other way to get an MRI. By 5am the next day we were discharged with the bad news: “many new and increased sites of enhancement” indicating glioblastoma progression in the brain, and progression of cervical cord metastasis in the spine. Thankfully we were contacted by radiation oncology and they mercifully were able to approve Andy for radiation to his spine by following specific protocols and being the very last patient of the day to avoid getting anyone else sick. They even went above and beyond and treated him through the weekend. He completed this on Feb 14th. This was to try and improve his symptoms of walking but so far we have not seen any improvement with this.
 
The medication plan was to switch his chemo to Avastin and Keytruda. Avastin has been shown to improve symptoms in Glioblastoma patients and Keytruda is currently in clinical trials for Glioblastoma but is approved for treatment of other cancer types. Because of the positive Covid test, Andy was not able to to start either of these infusions until Feb 18th. He got Avastin but we are still waiting to see if Merck approves him for compassionate use of Keytruda (delayed because of the storm). We are now home after radiation and the first chemo but Andy continues to decline. We are very scared because more radiation to the brain may make things worse instead of better and they are not sure if that is best for Andy at this point. He is not likely to qualify for any clinical trials because the tumor has spread to his spine. We are currently hoping for the symptom improvements to kick in from spine radiation and chemo.
 
This is such a horrible disease. Even though Andy’s diagnosis was 7 months ago, we are still in denial that this is happening. We are, however, grateful for the past 7 months as we are thankful for each day that God gives us together here on earth, and for how he has used Andy to advocate for children with this very disease. Andy remains our intelligent, hard-working, extroverted, kind, fun-loving, goal-setting, and the “best at advocating” husband/dad we could ever ask for! Thank you to everyone that continues to pray for Andy and our family, bring food, transport us to Mayo, drive by and honk, help with our kids, send cards and gifts….the list goes on and on. We are so grateful for our family and friends, who are always there for us. Andy loves the book of Isaiah, and these verses are always comforting, but especially now:
 
Isaiah 43:1 (Jack’s Confirmation verse):
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
 
Isaiah 43:2 (Andy’s favorite verse):
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Update 8: December 10, 2020
So not exactly the news we were hoping for today. My Neuro-oncologist confirmed that they are suspicious that a tiny spot on my cervical spine is tumor. As we are already doing radiation on a couple of brain spots, he said we will watch it and wait and let it manifest itself—come back and rescan in 3 to 4 weeks.
I am reminded that God said through Isaiah in such difficult times that: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will
not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Isaiah 43:2
God is always good. Thanks for the prayers!
Love,
Andy, Bri, Jack, Ava & Reese
Update 7: December 2, 2020

This brain tumor is ornery. After another round of check-ups this thing showed us just how stubborn it can be. Just 5 weeks after interim treatment of two new spots, yesterday’s MRI revealed another new spot.

Thankfully, the new spot is in a place of no prior treatment so we can attack it again. So far, radiation has been effective against the previous tumors. The plan is to go home, celebrate Reese’s birthday tonight and go back to Mayo next Monday for 5 days of Radiation. I will also continue chemo.

There’s an outside concern for tumor presence in the spine. So, we are going to MRI the spine next week as well. Please pray for no tumors in the spine.

We continue to be thankful for all of the prayers and support for our family and the Foundation.

As a reminder ESPN and ESPN2 are going to be running the story “Twice the Fight” which will premiere on ESPN2 Friday night and will run through the 23rd of December. This is a half hour feature story about our family and the Foundation. Thanks for tuning in!

Thank you for the prayers.

Love,
Andy, Bri, Jack, Ava & Reese

 

Update 6: October 28, 2020

Andy began a short 5-day stint of radiation at Mayo on Monday after a negative Covid test. Currently, he has one radiation treatment left then hopes to head to New Mexico for the elk hunt. Today was an extra special day because the first shipment of his book Yards After Contact was picked up! We have already packaged books to be shipped to 25 states! To order a copy of the book visit, www.teamjackfoundation.org/yac.

Update 5: October 22, 2020

From Andy’s Facebook: Yesterday’s appointment at Mayo took the wind out of my sails. The MRI revealed that the two new tumors are growing out of control. This is causing increased difficulty with nausea and balance. Plan is to hammer them next week with radiation and then try to slip out to New Mexico for the elk hunt. Ava & Jack are sure excited to score a monster elk! This is Ava showing off some of her new gear. Thank you for the prayers. 

Click here to listen to Andy’s radio interview with Scott Poese from KBRX, our local station.

Update 4: October 18, 2020
Written by Andy. Been a long week. Woke up Tuesday morning and couldn’t walk and threw up 4 times throughout the day. Waited until Wednesday to see if would get better and it didn’t. Was rushed to mayo by an angel flight. MRI showed there were 2 new tumors on my brain. They were concerned that my spine had tumors as well. Finished spine scan late Friday night, returned home late Friday under the lights. Oncologist sent an email Friday night and said the spine scan was clear! Now we are waiting for a new plan. Going to likely do radiation again as they are new spots. Have regained some of my mobility but still limited.
 
Hopefully we can squeeze in our New Mexico elk hunt — booked it in September. I’m not up to shooting, but I am going to have Ava shoot for me. Jack is down for an elk as well. I am seeing first hand the horrible effects of this disease.
 
Before all of this I was having a great go of it. Was thinking about starting running with Ava. I am now mostly wheelchair bound with limited mobility.
 
Recovery is back to ground zero. Hopefully we can hammer these new spots with radiation and I will be able to regain my mobility.
 
My advice if you are reading this is DO IT NOW. Note the pic was taken Saturday after my return from Mayo.
 
Thank you and God Bless you all! Thank you so much for the prayers!
Update 3: October 1, 2020

Andy completed six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy in mid-September and since has been working on editing his book, Yards After Contact, and getting it to print. Yards After Contact is the inspiring story of Jack Hoffman who was diagnosed with brain cancer at age five. He stole the hearts of people across the country with “The Run,” a 69-yard touchdown during the 2013 Huskers’ spring game. All proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Team Jack Foundation and its mission to fund childhood brain cancer research.

Also, Andy retired from his law career to focus on spending time with his family and further his involvement in Team Jack.

Update 1: July 26, 2020

“We are going to fight.” – Andy Update July 26, 2020

On Sunday, July 19, Andy had what we believe to be a seizure while on a run in Atkinson, NE. A subsequent MRI revealed the unimaginable – – Andy has a large brain tumor.

After learning the MRI results, Andy was quickly referred to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Unfortunately, the neurosurgery team at Mayo does not believe Andy’s tumor can be removed surgically. However, they were able to take a biopsy of the tumor on Thursday, July 23, and the Hoffman family is currently at Mayo waiting on pathology to determine Andy’s tumor type. Andy is in recovery and is scheduled to begin chemotherapy and radiation as soon as possible. Once Andy’s tumor type is confirmed, the Hoffmans will be working with the neuro-oncology team at Mayo to seek out any clinical trials or other therapies that might be available to aid in Andy’s fight.

The Hoffman family is very appreciative of all the prayers and support they have received from family and friends across the country. Andy and Bri are on the front lines of the battle right now and haven’t been able to respond to all the texts, calls, and emails they have received. They will respond as they are able, but are focused right now on Andy’s recovery and treatment.

To all the Hoffman’s prayer warriors: Keep the prayers coming! Please pray specifically for Andy’s recovery from the biopsy, for Andy’s tumor to be responsive to radiation and chemotherapy, for promising clinical trials to be available to enhance Andy’s treatment, and for strength and comfort for Bri, Jack, Ava and Reese

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

Update 2: August 5, 2020

“Glioblastoma” – Andy Update August 4, 2020

Last week, the results of Andy’s biopsy confirmed what doctors had suspected from Andy’s very first MRI. Andy’s tumor is a glioblastoma multiforme (or GBM). GBMs are generally aggressive tumors that can be difficult to remove surgically because of the finger-like manner in which they spread throughout healthy brain tissue.

Following Andy’s GBM diagnosis, the Hoffman family remained in Rochester to await the results of further tumor analysis that would determine what genetic markers might be present in Andy’s tumor. Like other centers of excellence, Mayo Clinic analyzes the genetic make-up of tumors to determine the most effective types of radiation and chemotherapy that can be used to treat each patient. Andy and Bri are very familiar with the importance of these gene-specific therapies as, under their leadership, the Team Jack Foundation has funded numerous research projects and clinical trials aimed at improving gene-specific therapies to treat pediatric brain cancer.

Andy is scheduled to begin 6 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy at Mayo Clinic on Thursday, August 6. The Hoffmans were able to rent an apartment close to the Mayo campus where Andy will be undergoing radiation, and Andy and Bri intend to stay in Rochester for the duration of Andy’s radiation treatment. While Andy and Bri would love to be home in Atkinson during this time, the access to world-class radiation technology and Andy’s care team at Mayo make Rochester the best place for the Hoffmans to be during treatment.

One question that has come up often after Andy’s diagnosis is whether there is a genetic link between Jack’s brain tumor and Andy’s brain tumor. The short answer is “no.” Andy and Jack actually have two different types of brain tumors, and Andy’s physicians do not believe that Jack’s tumor was “inherited” or “passed down” through Andy’s genetics. As any parent might imagine, this was a huge relief to Andy.

The Hoffmans would like to thank all the family, friends, and even strangers who have offered their support and prayers during this time. With days full of appointments and consultations, it is difficult for the Hoffmans to respond to all the well wishes and offers of help they have received. Please know that the Hoffmans are grateful to each of you for your care and concern!

To the Hoffman’s prayer warriors: Please pray specifically for Andy’s tumor to be responsive to radiation and chemotherapy, for Andy’s physicians to be granted wisdom and good health to help find and implement the best therapies available to enhance Andy’s treatment, and for rest, peace and strength for Bri, Jack, Ava and Reese.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25.

 

Twice the Fight T-shirt in Support of the Hoffman’s Fight

 

twice the fight black shirt
Twice the Fight red shirt

Five year-old Jack Hoffman was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011. As a result, his family started the Team Jack Foundation to raise funds for research that was so badly needed to develop better, kinder and more effective treatments. On Sunday July 19, 2020, after years of advocating for child brain cancer research and raising awareness for the disease, Team Jack’s co-founder, Andy Hoffman, learned he had a massive brain tumor.

Andy’s diagnosis was met with an incredible outpouring of support which led to the creation of this special officially collegiate licensed Husker t-shirt, ‘Twice the Fight’. The design and initial funding of the shirts was contributed by Mark & Karen Carson, co-founders of Fat Brain Toys and long-time Team Jack supporters. The Twice the Fight design is printed on a Gildan Soft Style 100% Cotton t-shirt.