Thinking back to April 2012 when we brought Jack “home” from Sister Kenny (now called Courage Kenny) after three months of rehab and recovery therapy. I say “home” because we didn’t really go home, we actually went to a fabulous accessible apartment at 50th & France in Edina for six months while our house was being renovated so that we could bring Jack “home.”
Anyway…we had lots to learn and things to figure out, which included prepping Jack for bed and transferring him into bed. Jack loves his music, so there were many nights when we’d tune in to his playlist. One song ruled at the time…”Back in Time” by Pitbull. Any time I hear it, it reminds me of the early days of Jack’s injury and adjusting to life as we know it now.
Fast forward to now…nearly four years post-injury and a whole new world…a world that includes college and Jack living far away…like half-way across the country. New? No. We did this in January when Jack started his freshman year at USC.
It was new, it was novel. It was great. So…I just assumed that bringing him back to “SC” (as they say) this semester would be easy. But boy, was I wrong. I don’t know why, but I’ve been a weepy mess. I could barely say goodbye to Jack when we left him. I watched him roll down the street and back to campus, tears streaming down my face. I arrived at LAX, thought I was in control, but no…tears continued to roll down my cheeks as I checked my bag (yes, just one bag…and prayed that my hair products would make it to Mpls...some of you know that story!) and worked my way up to my gate.
I composed myself, but only for a while. I’ll be fine. In a few days, maybe.
But this post isn’t supposed to be about me. It’s about Jack and the progress he’s made. He worked hard on his therapy all summer. He did lots of external stimulation on his arms and legs. He continued to do the ABLE program and stepping on the Therastride. He came home from therapy exhausted yet rallied to keep up with his friends and live as normal a life as he could.
There were times and moments when reality would kick in, and it wasn’t always pretty. But no need to discuss the dirty details. We continue to be in awe of Jack’s positive attitude, perseverance and drive to overcome paralysis. And we have reason to “bel13ve” that things are going to change. They really are.
We continue to monitor the incredible research in the world of SCI’s and the progress being made. Exciting and promising, no doubt. Think: epidural implants and stimulation…regaining function that was lost when the body was paralyzed (bladder control, sexual function, body temp regulation). Game changers.
And a game we don’t want to wait too long to play. We’re on a mission to create a sense of urgency for this research to go from the lab to the clinic. Our BEL13VE in Miracles Foundation is also on a mission to make this happen.
We hosted our annual golf tournament on August 13th to raise funds and awareness for this cause. It was a HUGE success…have to give credit to my hubby and TM as well as MM and TJA for all of their hard work. Thank you to ALL who participated and volunteered in this awesome affair. Here’s a link to the fabulous coverage we received from Dawn Mitchell of Fox 9: http://www.fox9.com/sports/7795496-story
And kudos to JH for bringing to life the online auction for a round of golf at Hazeltine National Golf Club with Jordan Leopold (NHL) and Terry Steinbach (MLB). Fabulous addition to our offerings.
Our annual BEL13VE in Miracles event (formerly our gala) held in conjunction with the extremely generous Minnesota Wild, will be hosted on November 7th at the Xcel Energy Center (tickets on sale at http://www.bel13vefoundation.org/get-involved/our-events/). We’re super excited about a potential partner (to be confirmed real soon) and where the funds raised are going to go. And no, not one cent goes to Jack. All proceeds are donated to research and recovery efforts so that everyone living with a spinal cord injury can get up from their chair and stand on their feet. Jack’s wish, Jack’s journey, Jack’s dream. #WeBel13veItWillHappen.
Back to Jack…wishing him with all my heart a wonderfully fun and successful second semester at USC. May he study well, keep up with his therapy, and thrive at his internship with the L.A. Kings where he’s one of eight interns on the communication team. And may he also enjoy, bond and gel with the SC Hockey Club.
All good things coming his way.