OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Andy Hoffman, founder of the Team Jack Foundation passed away Monday at the age of 42 from glioblastoma. Hoffman had recently recovered from COVID-19, but learned his cancer had spread. His passing has left the community bereft.
"It’s just more frustrating and almost makes you angry in a way, that somebody with that much drive and that much fight and doing that much good is another victim to the very cause that he’s fighting for, which is brain tumors. I’m just at a loss," said Austin Chambers, co-founder of Tyson's Treasure Chest and a friend of Hoffman. "Some people are just above words and Andy was one of those people, there’s really nothing you can say about him that characterizes him or puts him into a box because he created the box."
In a statement to 3 News Now, the Team Jack Foundation said Hoffman was one of a kind and will be missed every day. They said his passion and determination is unmatched and is what made the foundation what it is today.
Families and organizations that work to bring awareness about pediatric cancer said Hoffman brought them all together and created a support system for families who were experiencing it.
"This has brought us a group that we can get together and talk and share things that have happened, experiences we meet with new families, we have become so close that this past years been hard because we haven’t been able to be together," said Monica Waggoner, co-founder of the Forever Nate Foundation. "It has become very important, we’ve all met through the Team Jack foundation and it’s something that we’ll always have and we’ve all needed this just to get through the things we’ve had to do and go through and we share our experiences and help each other."
"A lot of those [organizations] derived from what Andy laid the foundation for, which was Team Jack, and his idea at the beginning when we met and going through the same treatment with our kids was there wasn’t a support system out there. We were in the dark, we had no one to ask questions to. You can imagine, you sit in the hospital room and told your kid has cancer, and your brain is filled with questions and there’s no one to get answers from. So, Andy wanted to bring us all together and by doing so he created what we call the Team Jack families and it gives us a way to all come together and we understand what each other is going through without having to talk about it," Chambers said.
They say Hoffman's passing has left a hole in the community that will be impossible to fill. They're mourning his loss but they say his legacy will live on.
"It's just so sad and it’s still unbelievable he was such a passionate man about pediatric brain cancer and it’s still kind of unbelievable. It’s just too fast, it’s not fair," Waggoner said. "I just want to have this mission even stronger now...He was so passionate that we’ll try to keep what he wanted going and do it in his memory too."