Jack’s Story

"I don't believe in Miracles, I rely on them."

 http://www.jabby13.com/

If you wish to contribute to Jack's fund, please send donations to:

Jack Jablonski Fund

3001 Louisiana Avenue North

Minneapolis, MN 55427

Or any Wells Fargo Bank, & mention "Jack Jablonski Fund"

*If you wish to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Jack Jablonski BEL13VE in Miracles Foundation where the proceeds benefit SCI research and recovery efforts, please visit www.bel13vefoundation.org and select the red "DONATE" box on the bottom right corner of the home page.  

Latest Journal Update

Catching Up

Let me start by saying that Jack is doing great!

Really great, all things considered.

I spent last week (and then some) with him (and a few close friends) in LA while he was on Spring Break. I could tell prior to my trip that Jack was enjoying California and USC, but it’s reassuring to see that for myself – in person – rather than on the phone via FaceTime.

It’s hard to believe we dropped him off at college nearly three months ago. Not sure where the time has gone, but it’s already time to start planning for Jack’s return home in May. #Can’tWait!

I could fill you in on how well Jack is doing with his adjustment to college life at USC, but Tom Hauser of KSTP-TV did a phenomenal job when he flew to LA to do a story on Jack’s progress. Here’s a link to the piece that aired last month and again during the MN State High School Boys Hockey Tournament: http://kstp.com/article/stories/s3713780.shtml. And here’s another version of the story: http://kstp.com/article/stories/s3714762.shtml.

We love these stories about Jack. We do. But there are people who are tired of seeing him in the news. We get that. For whatever it’s worth, we appreciate the attention because it raises awareness for people living with paralysis and spinal cord injuries (SCI). We’re on a mission to raise funds for SCI research and recovery through Jack’s BEL13VE in Miracles Foundation. There’s no doubt that the media has helped generate attention to these efforts.  

However, we also want to make it clear that what our foundation is doing is much bigger than being “all about Jack.” It’s not. It’s about Everyone living with an injury or condition similar to his. We’re not ashamed to say that Jack has been an inspiration to so many, because he and his story have been. How that happened or why is still baffling. Jack may not have chosen to live life in a chair, but he has chosen to focus on recovery, and not just for himself, but for everyone living with this debilitating condition.

Jack’s journey to college has also been a reality check for us. He’s never presented himself as a victim, he’s not a complainer, and he’s always been so positive. Honestly, I don’t know how he does it, but he does. And, as his mother, I’m not afraid to admit that living with paralysis is a huge challenge and sometimes “just plain sucks.” There, I said it. I did.

However, it’s true. There were moments during my visit with him that brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy and tears of sadness. Joy because I’m so proud of him for being such a trooper. For having the courage to go to school 1,925 miles away from home and without the support he had grown to know so well here in Minneapolis. Every. Single. Thing. in his life changed when he left in January.

Everything.

And it made me realize how much we had conquered here at home and how much more we had to re-establish in California. We were beyond fortunate to find Danny, Jack’s live-in caretaker. He’s wonderful. Treats Jack like his own son. How comforting that is to us.

We also had to find helpers to accompany Jack to class and tend to his needs. Again, we’re so lucky to have connected with the wonderful girls who stepped up to this task. We also had to find doctors, rehab facilities, therapists, resources to fix his van and power chair and to set up his medical bed and equipment. Not an easy thing to do, but we’ve succeeded. For the most part.

Watching Jack maneuver his way around college life sheds a sense of sadness over me as well. I see how difficult things can be yet he makes the best of every situation and moves on.   

But it’s not the norm. I see how limiting life in a chair can be and that makes me sad. Jack doesn’t have the ability to do the things we can do. He needs constant attention and help throughout the day. He didn’t just lose the ability to stand up and walk. He lost so much more. And that’s what the BEL13VE in Miracles Foundation is determined to change. We’re passionate about recovery and supporting research that will help people living with paralysis regain lost abilities. End. Of. Story.

Perhaps I’m getting a bit deep here. Or maybe it’s the emotions of a mom watching her child go off to college. Not an easy thing for any parent to do. We all worry. It’s our nature. And yes, our situation is a bit more complicated, so I can’t help but worry about the difficulties Jack has to deal with day-in-and-day-out.

However, I’m so proud of him for doing so well and for having the desire to make the most of his life. He has been blessed with many wonderful and exceptional opportunities. I know he’s going to be fine. He already is.

Maybe there are days when I just wish we could fast-forward to the day when recovery is possible for everyone living with paralysis. Maybe there are days when recovery can’t come soon enough.

I do BEL13VE. I do.

As they say at USC, “Fight On!” 

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Comments

73 Comments

Peter Verstegen
By
KSTP gave Jack nearly six minutes of broadcast time! That is long-form for broadcast news. Thank you KSTP. Glad to see Jack is on the USC campus and has the support he needs to soak up both the sun and the lessons of college. "Fight On!"
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Janet Johnson
By Jan Johnson
I never get tired of hearing about Jack and his latest adventures. I'm happy that he has adjust to college life. The time has really gone by swiftly.
Your descriptions of Jack getting around campus in his chair with more challenges than many other people tugs at my heart.
I keep on the lookout for any articles in the newspaper, magazines, and other channels of information about progress in curing his spinal cord injury. It can't be easy to keep up that positive, courageous attitude he has. He's only human if he feels that being in the chair "sucks" now and then. I am glad he is getting such
great support around campus; I hope his girl support/help group are really cute and are charmed by Jack. Why not?
On a more serious note, I will keep Jack in my prayers and in prayer groups that I know of. God bless you, Jack and family, Have a blessed Easter.
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Kelly Peterson
By
So happy to hear he is thriving! As a varsity hockey mom my biggest fear is an injury. I can't live in fear because it just makes me sick. My 16 year old just made it to The Minnesota State Boys High School Hockey Tournament, and the joy that brought to my son and our family overrides my fear 10 fold.I pray Jack keeps the faith and they find a cure for his spinal cord injury soon! He is so strong physically & mentally, he will be just fine!
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Mike Rode
By MR Old Time Hockey Dad
Thanks for the update Leslie. Jack you just keep on keeping on! Your an inspiration to so many. Did catch the Ch 5 piece also and that was great to see you on campus there at USC. Looks like your fitting right in with the old college life. Stay strong and keep on studying hard. College does goes by real fast. Ohh and have some fun along the way. We Bel13ve!
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Sarah Brookner
By
I never tire of hearing about Jack and his journey. Thank you to Jack for being willing to share. And thank you for being a mom who is willing to show her vulnerable side.
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Suzanne Miller
By Suzanne Miller
It so fantastic that Jack is doing so well! I know what it like to move away from home and not get all support from mom and dad. I am just glad he has adjusted well and likes being at USC. Hope he enjoys his summer with the family. Good Bless you all.
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Mick Hawkins
By
Thanks for the up-date, Leslie.

Making the most of what one has is a lesson we learn and relearn.

Have I ever told you that you are terrific writer? You are!

All the best...

Mick Hawkins, BSM Community
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matt majka
By matt majka
Well said, Leslie, and thanks for sharing your experience so transparently. There are great days ahead for Jack and all who are affected by paralysis. The work the BEL13VE foundation is doing is part of the progress. Keep going!
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Cheri Chalstrom
By Cheri Chalstrom
Shame on anyone who would even suggest they are tired of hearing or seeing about Jack. Without his story I don't think awareness would be there like it is. You see I am a mom too and my heart breaks for you and your family especially Jack. He or you never imagined this journey you are on nor would you ever pick it but you are on it and you all do such an amazing job of sharing, helping and fighting for awareness. I don't want to ramble and I don't even know you guys but I love getting the updates and praying for your family and yes one day I hope with all my heart that your son will recover. So please keep doing what you are doing and don't apologize for anything you are all amazing. God Bless You All.
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Joni Cullers
By
Leslie, thank you for these wonderful updates, sharing your feelings and reminding everyone that Jack's exposure via the media is for EVERYONE living with paralysis. That's what foundations do. They get in front of people, they remind people, they never give up. As a mother, I cannot even imagine the challenges you've faced and what lies ahead. I want to remind you that you are an amazing woman and an amazing mom.
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