Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Courage in Sports Award

If you're from Minnesota, or an avid hockey fan you've heard Jack Jablonski's story. If not, please read on because it's one you should hear. 

On December 30, 2011 Jack was checked from behind during a high school hockey game, causing him to go head first into the boards and leaving him completely paralyzed. He lay completely motionless on the ice.  Jack's dad ran out onto the ice and Jack told him he couldn't move anything. The scariest thing you can hear as a parent, I'm sure. Doctors discovered he had a broken vertebra and a severed spinal cord and told Jack he would never walk or skate again. 

That was nine months ago. Thanks to his unbelievable courage, positive attitude, and determination (seriously, youtube a news clip of this kid, his optimism is unlike anything I've ever seen). Jack basically gave his diagnosis a kind "F you" and has made progress every single day. His latest accomplishments? Standing twenty-two minutes with assistance, playing beach volleyball from his wheelchair with his trainers, walked with the help of machines. He even threw out the first pitch at this last Monday's Twins game. 

His story hit home so hard for me, and I've followed his progress since December. My younger brother (who just graduated high school) played hockey his whole life, and was coincidentally in the same tournament as Jack when the accident happened. That could have easily been him. 

Why am I telling you all of this? In early September, Jack was nominated for CBS's Courage in Sports award and his since made it to the finals. With your help, he just might win, Lord knows he deserves it. Where can you vote? Right here. Please do all you can to spread the word. 

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