Funding Research for Pediatric Brain Cancer

 
 

Jeremiah Sirles

ABOUT JEREMIAH:

Sirles played for the Nebraska Cornhuskers from 2010 to 2013. He was redshirted in 2009. He played in 53 games, starting 41. for the Cornhuskers. He was the 2013 recipient of the Cornhuskers' Guy Chamberlin Award. Jeremiah is currently an offensive guard for the Minnesota Vikings and was previously a member of the San Diego Chargers. 

He has been an amazing advocate for our cause.  He also has attended all Team Jack Foundation annual galas. 

Jeremiah is the son of Phil and Nora Sirles.  Nora is a member of the Parent Alumni Chapter.  Below she explains why she is taking a stand against child brain cancer.  

"On a quiet Saturday morning, I received a text from my friend Tami Campbell, mother of Husker-Great Kenny Bell.  She was inviting me to ride on a Women’s Cycling Team being formed to support Team Jack.  Team Jack is something I have been familiar with since my son, Jeremiah, was a Cornhusker.  I was unaware that her cycling team was forming, or what this ride meant for the Team Jack Foundation.  The invitation was to join Tami and other women in the Tour de Steamboat, a ride and cycling-event held annually near Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  I did not commit at that moment, instead replying to Tami I would get back to her in a couple days.  Little did I know, and completely out-of-the-blue, the following day I was contacted by a close cycling friend, Tom Schwein.  Tom shared with me that his 4-year old grandson, Thomas Bauman who lives in Colorado, was recently diagnosed with Pediatric Brain Cancer.  Realizing then that the invitation was meant-to-be, and something bigger than anything I could have imagined, so I quickly reached out and accepted Tami’s invitation. I am deeply honored to be riding in the Tour de Steamboat, now with the great purpose of Team Jack; but, also with a resolve for my friend Tom, his family and Thomas.  Over the course of a 24-hour period, and with help from Tami, we were able to get Thomas’ name on our cycling team jerseys – right over our heart.  It will be with great honor that we all will ride for Team Jack and its cause; but, also with Thomas in and on our collective hearts. Our goal is to help meet the need to fund research for Pediatric Brain Cancer.  So with every pedal, and every beat of my heart, prayers and support will go to the children, and their families, who are affected by Pediatric Brain Cancer and the heart-wrenching disease that it is. 

Here’s to Team Jack and to Thomas Bauman, that I can be part of a greater cause for awareness of Pediatric Brain Cancer.  Now I pedal with a purpose - RIDE’ON TEAM JACK!" - Nora Sirles

Support Nora and the Cycle Squad as they raise money for pediatric brain crain research. 

SUPPORT THE CYCLE SQUAD

WHY JEREMIAH'S INVOLVED: 

"There are few moments in life that stop you in your tracks. Those moments, as calm or difficult they may be, have the ability to alter your life in immense ways. I had one of those moments in the spring of 2012. I was approached by the University of Nebraska’s Life Skills Director asking me if I would be a part of a group that would show a young boy and his family around Memorial Stadium. Not thinking about any impact it would have on my life, I said yes. This young boy, Tyson Zimmer, was so full of life and excitement. He had a smile plastered on his face and was in awe of the University. He was cracking jokes, asking questions, and acting as any young boy would during a fun filled afternoon with his new Husker family. But, he wasn’t just like any young boy. Tyson had been diagnosed with Pediatric Brain Cancer and was battling for his life.

My most vivid memory from this afternoon is before we set out for the infamous Tunnel Walk. I hoisted Tyson up from his wheelchair and helped him touch the Horseshoe. The same Horseshoe that all Husker football players touch as tradition before they head into a fan-packed Memorial Stadium on a Saturday game day in Lincoln, Nebraska (pictured above.) As we stepped onto the field, it took him no time to start playing catch with Taylor Martinez and take handoffs from Rex Burkhead. That afternoon I witnessed a little boy who was battling a horrible disease acting like any boy his age should. As we said our goodbyes, it did not occur to me that I would never see Tyson again.

And I won’t. Just a few short weeks following that visit, I received news that Tyson had lost his battle with Pediatric Brain Cancer. This was the moment that stopped me in my tracks and altered my life. To this day, it is hard for me to explain why Tyson had such a huge impact on my life. I had spent one afternoon with this little boy, just a few hours. But, looking back on that afternoon and the devastating news that followed, something triggered inside of me. That something inside made me realize that no matter how big or small, I have to do something. But, I wasn’t quite sure what that would be.

I continued to try to find new outreach opportunities that would get me involved, but none of them were long lasting endeavors. It wasn’t until the spring game of 2013 that a new, lifelong opportunity presented itself through TeamJack.  We all know the exciting story behind Jack Hoffman’s spring game touchdown. It was a moment that inspired millions. It was a moment that compelled me to continue the fight alongside so many others battling for their lives.

As the touchdown news continued to grow, so did the TeamJack Foundation. After I graduated from the University of Nebraska, the Hoffman family extended an invitation to the First Annual Team Jack Gala. Without hesitation, I accepted. Through the galas, I have had the opportunity to sit with Emma Gehring and her family and Caleb Gulizia and his family. However, it was through these galas that also has allowed me to reconnect with Tyson’s family in ways that I never expected.

On July 23rd, I will be participating in Tyson’s Treasure Chest’s 3rd Annual Golf Tournament, an opportunity I would have never had if it wasn’t for TeamJack. Since attending the Gala for the last three years, I have been connected and reconnected with so many families that are going through this horrible battle. This is a fight I will continue to be a part of through the Alumni Chapter of TeamJack. It is our responsibility to raise even more awareness for Pediatric Brain Cancer. It is time to take a stand and find a cure."  -  Jeremiah Sirles

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