- Associated Press - Saturday, April 12, 2014

ATKINSON, Neb. (AP) - Jack Hoffman, the 8-year-old cancer survivor whose touchdown run last year at the Nebraska spring football game was viewed by millions, doesn’t talk much about the event that made him famous.

His 69-yard touchdown run has been viewed 8.5 million times on YouTube and won last year’s ESPY award for best moment in sports - which Jack accepted last summer at an awards ceremony attended by sports’ biggest names. Asked about the event, Jack recalls NBA star and fellow ESPY winner LeBron James nodding at him.

Yet on show-and-tell day at school this year, Jack brought in his Nintendo DS and a 10-month-old Labrador puppy.

“I wanted to see the ESPY,” his teacher, Becky Corkle, told the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1ibQROt ). “But the DS and the dog are the things that are important to him, just like all second-grade boys.”

While Jack doesn’t spend much time discussing the “run seen ‘round the world,” it has helped raise a lot of money for pediatric brain cancer research.

Less than 4 percent of all funding for cancer research goes to studying childhood brain cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children younger than 15, the Journal Star reported.

Jack was 5 when he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011, undergoing two surgeries and chemotherapy. His father announced late last year that Jack is now in remission, although a tumor still occupies an inoperable spot near his brain stem.

His parents started the Team Jack Foundation the year Jack was diagnosed, and by late 2012 - after selling 30,000 Team Jack T-shirts and picking up donations - the foundation sent $275,000 to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, a leader in childhood brain cancer research.

Then, Jack made the now-famous touchdown run - dressed a Husker jersey and helmet and helped down the field by an entire college team.

Team Jack has now raised more than $1.5 million for childhood cancer research.

“That (video) took things to the next level,” Jack’s father, Andy Hoffman, said. “When your son scores a touchdown on Saturday in Memorial Stadium, and then your family foundation’s home page is being flashed on CNN on Monday, it makes a difference.”


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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