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Fundraiser for Jack Jablonski brings out NHLers, raises over $120,000

Sean Leahy
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Pioneer Press / Scott Takushi

On Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center, the BEL13VE in Miracles Gala was held to help benefit the Jack Jablonski Fund. Jablonski, you'll recall, was the St. Benilde-St. Margaret's (Minn.) School hockey player paralyzed during a December game and has since received support from all corners of the hockey world.

Over 30 current and former players attended the event, including new Minnesota Wild Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Jablonski had spoken with Parise, a Minnesota native, over the winter and even threw a recruiting pitch to him before he signed with the team.

According to MYFOX9, over $120,000 was raised from ticket sales for the event and a silent auction.

In May, Jablonski moved a finger and his leg on his own, showing the progress of the ABLE (Activity-Based Locomotor Exercise) program.

From CBS 4:

"The ABLE program, which is funded by the Reeve Foundation, has made such a difference in Jack's life," Leslie said.

At the Courage Center, Jablonski has moved from the simple to the remarkable. He can walk upright in a harness and do sit ups to tighten his core. He even swims.

"This stuff is unheard of," Leslie said. "He wasn't supposed to be able to move his arms, his legs."

In seven months, Jablonski's made large strides. He plans to return to school on a regular basis and as he told Bob Sansevere of the Duluth News Tribune, it's a long road ahead, but he's got a positive mind-frame on things:

BS: What are your doctors telling you now? Are they encouraging about being able to walk again?

JJ: I haven't talked a lot (with doctors) since I left Sister Kenny in April. They said there always are possibilities and there always are miracles. I believe in that. They can always be wrong. When they give you the news that this or that can happen, they always have to give you the worst. We understand that. I believe they're wrong. And I know they'll be wrong. It's just a matter of time and looking forward.

Jablonski tweeted Thursday night that "Tonight is a night to remember." Judging by what he's accomplished in seven months, there looks to be many more.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy


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