Jack’s Army, local name designation for what has been established formally as the Jack Pribaz Foundation, is well-known in the Wheaton, Illinois community thanks to one of its two founders, Michael Pribaz. Mr. Pribaz, as he is known both at St. Francis where he was a former teacher and at Wheaton North, where he has taught history for the past 11 years, coached boys golf and has been Assistant Coach to Dave Eaton and the girls basketball team.
Due to his kind and likeable spirit and his involvement in the CUSD200 school system, people naturally want to follow his lead. So, when he and his wife Liz started the Foundation in their son Jack’s honor, people who knew Jack’s dad wanted to get involved.
Today Jack’s Army benefitted from the Wheaton Quad-Cities Jack’s Army Shootout; a fun basketball tournament for sophomore and varsity level boys basketball players scheduled to take place at St. Francis located at 2130 West Roosevelt Road, directly across from Target.
Sophomore games were as follows today in Slantdome Gymnasium:
2:00 p.m. Wheaton North (H) vs. Moline (V)
3:30 p.m. Wheaton Warrenville South (H) vs. Rock Island (V)
5:00 p.m. St. Francis (H) vs. Rock Island Alleman (V)
Varsity Games were played in St. Francis’ Spyglass Gymnasium at:
3:30 p.m. Wheaton North (H) vs. Moline (V)
5:00 p.m. Wheaton Warrenville South (H) vs. Rock Island (V)
6:30 p.m. St. Francis (H) vs. Rock Island Alleman (V)
Jack’s Army was created for Jack and the nearly 150 people throughout the globe that have been diagnosed with KCNQ2 encephalopathy; a disorder caused from a rare mutation of a gene called KCNQ2. Since the disorder is so very rare, without a Foundation to help absorb some of the costs associated with research, it would never happen.
Mike and Liz’s son Jack will be turning six on March 5th, a feat never thought possible when the Pribaz family thought that their son would not live to make it to his first birthday. Directly after Jack was born, his seizures began. The young boy has gone through years of procedures, multiple tests and surgeries to help him survive. His diagnosis was finally given when he was about two-and-a-half.
His epilepsy is so rare that when the doctors told Jack’s parents, the next thing they said would have scared anyone speechless; they stated that they did not know another living soul that had KCNQ2. So Mike and Liz got busy, created the Foundation, and are constantly moving forward – not back.
Jack has been involved every step of the way and although his life may not be like his parents would like, they still have their little trooper right beside them, working for his cause. Jack’s Army will continue fighting hard to help Jack and the other children like him as they come forward. Hopefully the community at large will also continue with their endeavors. Together, let’s make a difference!