Jack Jablonski's Journal
Fear of the Unknown
Written Feb 17, 2014 12:38amGreetings!
We hope you all had a LOVEly Valentine's Day.
Are you enjoying the Olympics? The boys have been glued to the TV (and internet) to keep up with the men's hockey team. Go Zach Parise and Team USA! And all other USA competitors. Always fun to watch.
It's that time of year...the end of the high school hockey season. Sniff sniff. Especially hard this year since Jack is a senior. Benilde-St. Margaret's had our "Senior Knight" celebration yesterday. It's hard to believe we were the ones walking out on the ice to join our senior son before his last high school home hockey game. I thought I'd be okay, but not so. Tears filled my eyes as soon as I stepped onto the ice. And, once again, the crowd cheered so loud for Jack. Always warms our hearts.
I remember when Jack made the varsity team as a sophomore. I was giddy, nervous, anxious and filled with pride. Making the BSM hockey team was a huge goal in his young life. I can still see him entering the ice, doing a little hop that must be in his genes - Jack always looked like Mike when he'd start his skate.
Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that Jack would roll onto the ice in a power chair for Senior Knight. But never in our wildest dreams did we anticipate the incredible support that we've received in the last two years. It has truly kept us going. You have no idea...
Our hearts are filled with appreciation and joy. We're grateful to Coach Pauly for keeping Jack active and involved in the BSM hockey program. We're grateful for the opportunities that have come his way and how they've enhanced his life. We don't know what's next, but we do know that Jack's love for the sport will find a way to keep him in the world of hockey.
And speaking of what's next...pause...deep breath...college. It's tough enough to tackle post-high school thoughts, but add Jack's situation to the picture and oh. my. gosh. Panic attacks. Jack has applied to six schools, has been admitted to three so far. Still have three more to hear from.
It's mind-boggling to think of how we're going to manage this next step in his life. But, we will. We have to. Others have done it and so will we.
In the meantime, it's important that we enjoy the last few months of Jack's high school days. I still remember mine (sooooo many years ago!) and they're filled with memories that I'll always treasure.
Not much else is new. Jack's progress has been status-quo, but that's not unusual at this point.
As always, we appreciate your continued support and your patience with me as I know I've been slow at posting updates.
All the best...
Hap"ping" New Year!
Written Jan 2, 2014 12:04amHope 2014 is off to a fabulous start for all.
Two years ago we were told that Jack would have extremely limited movement of his arms. So great to see him defy the odds.
Thought we'd share this video of Jack and Max playing ping pong today. A great way to start off the new year!
Written Dec 30, 2013 6:04pmGreetings to all of you and many, many thanks for your continued support. We appreciate your wonderful comments and good wishes.
Today is December 30th...the anniversary of Jack's injury.
Two years now. Hard to believe.
I don't know why, but it's been an emotional weekend. I couldn't even step foot in the hockey rink. BSM played in their annual holiday tournament - the same one in which Jack was hurt (I still struggle to say the word "paralyzed"), and Max had games as well. But I just couldn't go.
Instead, I hung low and found myself reflecting on the last two years. We've been blessed in more ways than anyone could imagine. The support for Jack and our family has been unprecedented. Truly incredible. And never ending. For that, we are forever grateful.
I also keep thinking of two years ago today. We woke up and had no idea what was about to happen or how much our lives were going to change. In an instant. And there's nothing you can do but accept what's happened and move forward.
We continue to be inspired by Jack and his positive attitude, strength and determination. Everything seemed hopeless when he was first hurt. He wasn't supposed to have movement below his triceps and the level of injury. But he quickly exceeded expectations and continues to do so to this day.
Most recently, Jack has been able to use his right hip flexor to move his leg while stepping on the ABLE treadmill. As he posted on Twitter: #MovingForward. It doesn't happen a lot, but we're thrilled when it does.
He's also felt some twitching in his fingers upon command, and he feels a tingling sensation in his thumb. We think it's because he's always texting. Whatever the cause, pain is good.
I like to think that we are two years closer to spinal cord injury recovery than we were the moment Jack was paralyzed. There are reasons to be hopeful...
In addition to providing scholarships to the ABLE program at Courage Kenny, our foundation - the Jack Jablonski BEL13VE in Miracles Foundation - is supporting an incredibly brilliant doctor and her spinal cord injury research program at the University of Louisville. Her name is Susan Harkema and I had the pleasure of meeting her last week when we presented her with a grant from funds raised at our gala this past summer.
She's on a mission to generate "victories over paralysis" and that's exactly what she's accomplishing. Her work is in the clinical study phase, but it is most impressive and so encouraging. I'll post more about this at a later date, but for now, Dr. Harkema brings hope to people with spinal cord injuries.
And hope is what we hang on to. Instead of accepting life in a chair, Jack is determined to find ways to progress and defy the odds. And he will.
P.S. Thank you "MR Old Time Hockey Dad" for the link to Jack's tweet today: https://twitter.com/Jabs_13/status/417761345077911552/photo/1