Seven-Year-Old Jack Hoffman, Battling Brain Cancer, Has Spent A Lot of Time in Boston
Jack Hoffman, the seven-year-old brain cancer patient who gained national attention after making a touchdown during the Nebraska Husker’s spring football game, is a favorite patient of some Boston doctors.
Dr. Liliana Goumnerova, director of pediatric neurosurgical oncology at the Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, operated on Hoffman in October of 2011, after doctors discovered an aggressive brain tumor following a series of excessive seizures. Since the surgery, Goumnerova says Hoffman frequently comes back to Boston, from his hometown in Atkinson, Neb., as he completes his 60-week chemotherapy treatment and continues to battle brain cancer.
While on break from the treatment, Hoffman ran a 69-yard touchdown, donning a Husker’s uniform, alongside members of the Nebraska football squad, which led to more than 3 million views on YouTube and national recognition following the heart-warming moment in front of 60,000 spectators at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.
Goumnerova, who saw the video, says she was touched by his effort to hustle down the field holding the football. “I think it’s a wonderful video. It’s great to see a young boy who is doing so well, and see the great relationship between him and the football team. I think what is amazing is how they relate to him. It’s very [touching],” she says.
Goumnerova was one of the doctors on a team of surgeons that operated on Hoffman in an effort to stop the constant seizures he was experiencing. Since the surgery two years ago, she says Hoffman hasn’t experience any additional issues with persistent seizures. “One of the goals was to get rid of his seizures. He hasn’t had a seizure since. We are very pleased with how he is doing,” says Goumnerova.
Goumnerova saw Hoffman last week, and says he returns to Boston every three months. When she last saw the viral video star, he was in good spirits. “He is a wonderful kid. He is a very nice, chatty young boy who is actually growing like a weed. When I saw him recently, he had gotten to be quite tall. He was wonderful,” she says.
Watch the video of Jack Hoffman’s famous touchdown: