ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — On Saturday night, the Jack Jablonski Believe in Miracles Foundation announced a $300,000 contribution to groundbreaking research at the Mayo Clinic to help those suffering from spinal cord injuries.
It was four years ago that 16-year-old Jack Jablonski sustained a paralyzing injury playing in a hockey game for Benilde St. Margaret’s School. Since then, Jack and his family have worked to promote awareness and raise money for research.
Big names like NHL great Jeremy Roenick, former Yankee David Wells, former Minnesota Wild defenseman Jordan Leopold and WCCO’s own Mark Rosen gathered at the Xcel Energy Center to support the organization’s cause.
Jack Jablonski, now 20, is a busy student at the University of Southern California and an intern for the Los Angeles Kings.
“He’s doing really well,” Jack’s mother Leslie Jablonski said.
Leslie says she’s thrilled that the foundation, formed in the aftermath of her son’s accident, is helping pioneering research into epidural stimulation at the Mayo Clinic.
“I’m so excited, because it is real,” she said. “I’ve been a mom on a mission and now we have a miracle. This epidural stimulation works.”
Peter Grahn is one of the Mayo Clinic researchers. He was paralyzed in a swimming accident in 2005 and says Jack Jablonski has helped all victims of spinal cord injuries.
“I think what he, his family, have done just advocating for spinal cord injuries has been really great to spread the word and keep hope,” Grahn said.
And the big names weren’t just attending the event — they gave it a quite a boost, too. David Wells contributed jerseys and signed balls, and Jeremy Roenick has supported Jack Jablonski and his family’s fundraising efforts from the beginning.
“I really feel Jack is going to be someone who changes the dynamics of being part of spinal cord injuries,” Roenick said.
For more information, visit the Jack Jablonski Believe In Miracles Foundation online.