Jack Jablonski's Journal
Dream It. BEL13VE It.
Written Aug 4, 2013 3:10pmI was always a believer of what you dream must mean something in real life. In this case, I hope it's true.
My mind has been racing since the fabulous gala on July 25. So much to process, so much to be grateful for, so many people to thank, so many memorable moments. You get the picture as to why my brain can't slow down.
One of the most inspiring memories from the gala is that of Rob Summers, the baseball player from Portland who was paralyzed in a hit-and-run accident in 2006. His story is compelling but he is simply amazing.
As I mentioned in the previous journal posting, Rob is the first SCI patient to have an epidural stimulator implanted near his spine. It helps him move body parts that he was told would never move again. He's transitioned from a quadriplegic to a paraplegic and with his intense rehab workouts combined with the stimulator, he continues to gain back feeling and movement throughout his body. To see him in person is nothing short of a miracle.
I woke up this morning with a vivid memory of my dream. It's fading quickly, but still prominent in my mind is this: Jack and I were on some exotic island where doctors were working with people in chairs. One by one, they managed to get up and walk. Albeit a bit wobbly, but they were getting up and walking.
Here's the odd thing. Jack was not in the chair. I was. Perhaps it's a symbol of a mother's wish to take away her child's injury and bring it upon herself. Regardless, with Jack's coaxing and the help of a neurologist standing along side of him, I slowly got up and walked. And walked and walked. Then I woke up.
I believe my dream was inspired by Rob. I haven't stopped thinking about him since we met the night before the gala. He's determined to walk again and I believe he will. He's offered to mentor Jack and I believe the power of this positive human connection will do wonders for them both, and for others with SCI's.
I believe my dream did mean something. I'd like to believe it means that Jack will get up and walk again. Some day. I know I can't take on his injury, but I also know his determination and hard work will continue to help him make strides. You should see how much he's already putting his hands and a few fingers to work.
"Let your fingers do the walking" was the slogan for the Yellow Pages years ago. We'll take that for now, but one of these days, as Nike says, Jack will "just do it." He will walk again.
With that said, we are forever grateful to all who attended the BEL13VE in Miracles Gala and to Cheryl and Peggy and all of the gala gals who made the event possible. Your extreme generosity made a difference. Once again, we're able to help others with SCI's through scholarships to the ABLE program at Courage Kenny.
And, it doesn't stop there. We're now able (no pun intended) to help fund the next steps in spinal cord injury recovery.
Written Jul 20, 2013 1:51pm"What if something amazing happens today?"
I believe I've mentioned this quote from Jack before, but it seems fitting as we approach the "BEL13VE in Miracles Gala," which is happening next Thursday, July 25 at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul. Can. Not. Wait !!
We believe, or I should say we know in our hearts, that something amazing will happen because of the gala. This year, the proceeds are dedicated to helping others with spinal cord injuries.
Our efforts are twofold:
1. Money raised will provide scholarships to the amazing ABLE (Activity-Based Locomotor Exercise) program at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute (formerly called Courage Center).
ABLE helps people with SCI's in so many ways - gain strength, wellness and better health. It helps prepare them for what's next, and we hope it's the next miracle in recovery.
But, ABLE is expensive and often not covered by insurance. We hate to see such a valuable program be cost-prohibitive to those who can truly benefit from it.
2. Research. We are amazed with the work being done at the Frazier Rehabilitation and Neuroscience Institute at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation has worked closely with Dr. Susan Harkema and her team at Louisville to make amazing advancements in SCI recovery.
For instance, Medtronic (based here in the Twin Cities) created a device that has been implanted near the spinal cord of an amazing baseball player and athlete who was paralyzed in 2006 in a hit-and-run accident. His name is Rob Summers (google him, you'll be amazed at his story).
In 2009, he was the first patient to have the devise implanted. It's an epidural stimulator that helps move body parts that he was told would never move again. Think toes, ankles, legs. Think about being able to stand and even take a few steps. Amazing.
Rob had a similar injury to Jack. He was a C6, Jack is a C5-C6. Rob should not have been able to move or function below his chest. But with an intensive rehab program and the aid of the epidural stimulator, he's gained back more function than you can imagine. And he's not done yet.
Rob is a huge inspiration to Jack and we are thrilled to have him attend this year's gala as our guest. Can't wait to meet him in person!
Here are two (okay, I'll say the word again) amazing radio interviews about the foundation and gala that Jack did yesterday:WCCO/Chad Hartman:http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/show/the-chad-hartman-show/#
Tune in at 17 minutes, finish at 35KFAN/Power Trip Morning Show:http://www.kfan.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?podcast=KFAN_PowerTrip&selected_podcast=POWERTRIP_071913_HR3_1374243204_15936.mp3Tune in at 2 minutes, finish at 37
We hope you will join us in helping Jack help others.
I know, I overused the word, or a form of it. Because there is no better word to describe the BEL13VE in Miracles Gala, our Foundation's mission and the work being done to make miracles happen.
"What if something amazing happens today?" Next Thursday. And thereafter...
*For tickets and more info, please visit: http://www.jabby13.com/page/show/506158-2013-bel13ve-in-miracles-gala
Written Jul 8, 2013 2:35amGreetings.Apologies for not posting in a while. Lots going on and somehow the weeks have flown by at a rapid pace.All is going well. Jack is back at rehab after a two week hiatus. First time he took a healthy break from therapy in over a year. Even our warrior can burn out from too much of a good thing. Now he's refreshed and back at it.Not too much is new, but several of us have noticed big changes in Jack's use of his hands, especially the right one. He's doing more with his fingers. Watched him pick up a piece of paper with his right index finger and thumb; have seen him numerous times grab and pick things up that he wasn't able to hold before. He even handed me his plate the other day. And keep in mind, Jack was never a master of clearing the table.Yesterday was awesome. Inspired by Wimbledon, Mike thought it would be worth a try to get Jack into the standing frame and bring him down to the sport court to hit tennis balls. Jack was up for the challenge, so Mike wrapped an ace bandage around Jack's beloved tennis racket and secured it in his right hand. He tossed tennis balls to Jack and sure enough, Jack was able to hit them into the net.Imagine how surprised I was to return from running errands and see Jack swinging his old racket. Simply delighted !!Other news is that we survived the mother of all power outages after that horrific storm that swept through the Twin Cities in late June.It wasn't a fun four days, that's for sure, but with the help of great friends, we managed to get Jack upstairs to bed each night, and back down to the main floor in the morning.We purchased a generator, but it couldn't be connected to the elevator. At least we were able to charge Jack's power chair. Next step is to get a permanent generator installed. Can't go through anything like this again. No way.Better get some shut eye. Busy week ahead. Lots of prep for our foundation's gala - the Jack Jablonski BEL13VE in Miracles Gala - on July 25th. Proceeds will support others with spinal cord injuries by providing scholarships to the same recovery therapies that are helping Jack.Here's a link for more info:http://www.jabby13.com/page/show/506158-2013-bel13ve-in-miracles-galaWe'd love to see you there! It promises to be a fun time and all for a worthy cause - helping others with SCI's.Be back soon.Cheers!.