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Jack Jablonski: Helping others with spinal cord injuries

On December 30, 2011, high school sophomore Jack Jablonski had just scored the opening goal when the unthinkable happened. Skating after a puck, he was checked into the boards by two players from the opposing team. He dropped to the ground and didn't move. Surgery a few days later revealed the truth: Jack had severed his spinal cord and the damage could not be repaired. The injury had left him with quadriplegia.

After months in the hospital and Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Jack went home. He immediately began outpatient therapy in Courage Center's ABLE (Activity-Based Locomotor Exercise) program. Part of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network, ABLE is a revolutionary program that helps people living with paralysis to improve their health, fitness, strength, and quality of life. "My coordination, strength and muscle mass have all improved since coming to Courage Center," Jack says.

Today, Jack is a senior and captain of his high school hockey team. Like every high school student, he loves sports and hanging out with his friends. "I don't know what to expect in my future," he says, "but I want to continue to get stronger with ABLE and work toward a normal life. My main goal is to get back on my feet. There is still hope."

While Jack stays busy with school, athletics, and therapy, he also takes time to champion two causes close to him: hockey safety and spinal cord injury research. The Jack Jablonski BEL13VE in Miracles Foundation raises funds for scholarships so other people with spinal cord injuries can receive the same therapies that Jack has benefited from. "I would not be where I am today without Courage Center," Jack says. "I am very fortunate to have the ABLE program available to me."