Thursday, November 30, 2017

Burkhead and Abdullah to Honor Team Jack

By Brent Apperson

November 30, 2017

Week 13 of the NFL kicks off the “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign. During the games this week, participating players wear cleats designed around a cause that is important to them. For the second year in a row, Rex Burkhead, now a New England Patriot, will be wearing cleats to show his support for the Team Jack Foundation and to bring national awareness to pediatric brain cancer.

On Rex’s left foot is Jack’s picture from 6-years ago. This 6-year-old boy and his favorite University of Nebraska running back spent a day together in the Fall of 2011. They ate lunch, toured the football facility, and even raced on the field. As a 6-year-old little boy, Jack always looked up to Rex, and as seen on the cleats, Jack will still be “looking up” to him this Sunday.

On Rex’s right foot, is a picture of now 12-year-old Jack today. After six years, Rex still wears the red “Team Jack Pray” bracelet that Jack gave him the first time they met, as he plays for the New England Patriots. Today, Rex sits on the Board of Directors of the Team Jack Foundation and plans an annual Team Jack Trifecta event in his hometown of Plano, TX raising money and awareness for pediatric brain cancer. Last year, the inaugural Tri-fecta raised over $40,000 for the Foundation.

The cleats were designed by Joe V Designs in Ludlow, Massachusetts. The design inspiration came from the video of little Jack, running the 69-yard touchdown in the 2013 Husker spring game.

“My team and I hope that the cleats bring much needed awareness for the disease. It was all about giving back and we could not be happier to be part of it,” said Joe Ventura.

The cleats were officially “unboxed” on Monday, November 27, but Jack was able to see the cleats before anyone else. Joe and his team sent the cleats to Jack to autograph as a surprise for Rex.

“I thought they were awesome!” says Jack Hoffman.

Burkhead’s cleats will be featured on the NFL auction site ( where all proceeds will benefit the Team Jack Foundation.

In addition, long-time Team Jack supporter and former Husker, Detroit Lion’s Ameer Abdullah will also be representing Team Jack for the “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign. Abdullah released the design of his cleats on Instagram Tuesday. From Ameer Abdullah’s Instagram:

“Honored to represent the @teamjackfoundation this weekend for #mycausemycleats Pediatric Brain Cancer is the number 1 child killing cancer in America. I stand with many others in the fight against this disease. This weekend is for my little guardian angel DJ, I live each day with the same smile I was so blessed to see grace your face. #RIPDJ #WROH”

Donovan James Miles Jr., “DJ” was a few months shy of 2 years old when he came to a Huskers practice during the 2012 season with his grandfather, Steve Reddick. D.J. and formed an unforgettable bond with Abdullah. When meeting Abdullah, DJ had already undergone surgery and chemotherapy. DJ’s prognosis was not good, and he passed from brain cancer in September 2014. But, Abdullah continues to honor DJ’s memory year after year. In addition, he continues to support the Team Jack Foundation and their mission to fight a cure and better treatments for the disease.

Tune in on Sunday as the New England Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions take on the Baltimore Ravens in week 13 of the NFL to see Burkhead and Abdullah sport their customized Team Jack Foundation cleats and bring national awareness to pediatric brain cancer.

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