ATKINSON, Neb. (AP) — Andy Hoffman, father of the young cancer patient who captured the hearts of college football fans when he ran for a touchdown in Nebraska's 2013 spring game, died after a seven-month battle with brain cancer.
The Team Jack Foundation announced Andy died at home on Monday. He was 42.
Hoffman started the foundation to raise money for pediatric brain cancer research after his son, Jack, was diagnosed with the disease in 2011. More than $8.3 million has been raised.
The Hoffman family loves Nebraska football, and former running back Rex Burkhead befriended Jack in 2012. The little boy was a surprise participant in the Cornhuskers' spring game the following spring.
Wearing a miniature Burkhead uniform complete with a No. 22 jersey, Jack took a handoff from Taylor Martinez and followed a wall of blockers down the field.
Players left the sidelines to accompany him into the end zone, and they mobbed him and lifted him on their shoulders after his 69-yard touchdown.
The crowd of 60,000 cheered as Jack celebrated — a moment that left his father, Andy, misty-eyed on the sideline. The Hoffmans and Burkhead met with President Barack Obama two weeks later.
Andy was diagnosed with brain cancer last summer and underwent treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He contracted COVID-19 in February and was unable to continue chemotherapy treatments. His wife, Bri, wrote last week in a post on the Team Jack website that Andy's neurological symptoms were worsening.
Jack is now a 15-year-old high school freshman and his cancer is in remission.
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