Houston Rex Burkhead first met Jack Hoffman over a decade ago while the veteran Texas veteran was playing for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Hoffman was diagnosed with childhood brain cancer and epilepsy when he was five years old after suffering a seizure.
Burkhead Hoffmann and his family met weeks before his second operation to remove a brain tumor.
Hoffman scored a goal during the spring game in Nebraska.
“Jack and I met and it was a security deal,” Burkhead said. “They didn’t know how much time he had. We kept in touch. They went out to train and it was like another teammate. Jack’s team blew up from there. It was crazy.”
Burkhead later joined the Board of Directors of the Team Jack Foundation, which is dedicated to raising funds and awareness of pediatric brain cancer, transforming children’s lives. The charity has raised nearly $10 million for research since its inception.
“After 10 years, I’ve been on the board since early on,” Burkhead said. It is a rare disease. It needs fundraising. It’s kind of crazy. Nebraska has one of the highest rates of childhood cancer. It helps fund several clinical trials. It is a pleasure to be a part of.”
Burkhead is hosting a Team Jack Foundation event on October 10 at Top Golf in Katy with proceeds benefiting the charity, registration or donations available at http://give.teamjackfoundation.org/event/topgolf-or-texans/e402866.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Burkhead said. “Team Jack Foundation is something I’ve been a part of for a while now. People on the team come up to me and ask, ‘Is this the little kid who scored a touchdown in the spring game in Nebraska?’” The same child. I’m really looking forward to it, raising money for children’s brain cancer and owning players, having Texans a part of it is a real treat. They communicated with him a lot and tried to help in any way possible. We have some golfers on our team. Hope it’s a great night.”
Hoffman once suffered a bout in the first half of a New England Patriots game in the AFC Championship won by the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving the game before insisting that he and his father return in the second half. He watched Burkhead score two goals, including the winning result in overtime.
“Jack’s dad started the foundation, and he died of brain cancer last year,” Burkhead said. “He has been her backbone. We are trying to pass on his legacy.”
Aaron Wilson is a Professional Football Network reporter and contributor to KPRC 2 and click2houston.com
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