Olympic gold medalist leads fight against childhood cancer at Team Jack Gala

Posted By: Lauren Fabrizi

Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton and Jack Hoffman have a thing or two in common. As a cancer survivor, Hamilton knows what that battle is like.

“Kids are kids, and all they want to do is be kids,” Hamilton said at the 2nd annual Team Jack Gala Saturday night.

From the looks of Jack playing ‘monkey in the middle’ with his sisters and friends on the bottom level of the Cornhusker Marriott, anyone could see all Jack wants to do is be a kid.

But that’s a little tough right now. In August, the 9–year–old’s cancer returned. He’s now undergoing a clinical trial in Boston that targets his brain tumor’s specific type of genetic mutation.

“What’s happening in Jack’s life to me is a living, breathing example of why research is incredibly important,” Jack’s father, Andy Hoffman, said. “And why funding research has to happen.”

The Team Jack Foundation has come a long way, raising more than $2 million for pediatric brain cancer research. But the fight against childhood cancer is far from over. That was proven Saturday night at the Team Jack Gala.

Scott Hamilton was the keynote speaker. Seeing Jack sitting there for the four-time U.S. and world champion hit home.

“With this challenge comes blessings,” Hamilton said. “Through every storm, there’s a rainbow.”

That rainbow is the countless amount of people who have supported Team Jack since day one, former Huskers turned NFL pros included.

“We gotta do whatever we can to make sure they have a chance to live, and live a normal life,” former Husker Tommie Frazier said.

“Just really keep encouraging the kids to stay positive and to keep fighting,” Rex Burkhead of the Cincinnati Bengals said.

And Jack certainly keeps fighting.

“So they don’t do cancer,” Jack said.

Not just for himself, but for the hundreds of other kids in his shoes.

“My prayer and hope is that every family that has to go through something like this has the kind of support that we’ve had,” Andy Hoffman said.

Last year, the gala raised about $300,000. There’s no set goal this year. Andy and the Team Jack Foundation plan to continue educating and inspiring not only the people of Nebraska, but all who want to play a part in funding research.