Reporting Jamie Yuccas
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Nearly 800 people, including big names in professional hockey, came out to the Xcel Energy Center Thursday night — not to play, but to say they believe in miracles.
The Minnesota Wild hosted a sold-out benefit with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Everyone there celebrated the progress being made by Jack Jablonski, the 16-year-old high school hockey player paralyzed during a game last winter.
At the moment, he’s working toward walking again.
“What a difference it has made in him. Every day I feel like little miracles are happening,” Jablonski’s mother, Leslie, said.
Doctors originally told Jablonski’s family that he would never use his arms or regain any movement in his lower body, but just like the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team, he’s making everyone believe in miracles.
Included in those believers is Jeremy Roenick, who participated in the event.
Earlier in the day, Roenick held a youth clinic on the same ice where Jabs suffered his devastating injury. Jablonski the clinic out on the ice.
“The ABLE program, which is funded by the Reeve Foundation, has made such a difference in Jack’s life,” Leslie said.
At the Courage Center, Jablonski has moved from the simple to the remarkable. He can walk upright in a harness and do sit ups to tighten his core. He even swims.
“This stuff is unheard of,” Leslie said. “He wasn’t supposed to be able to move his arms, his legs.”
Thursday’s benefit raised money for Jablonski, and others, to take part in the ABLE program.
Three months of therapy costs $18,000 and is not covered by insurance.
You can help support Jablonski’s recovery and follow his progress on his website.