LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)   —  Jack Jablonski proves one doesn’t have to be skating on the ice to be a hockey hero.

Jablonski, a Minnesota native, attended the Minneosta Wild vs Los Angeles Kings game Thursday night.

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Paralyzed on December 30, 2011,  while playing in a high school game, he set up a foundation on the same date a year later — to spread awareness and raise money for other people with spinal cord injuries.

His story and his yeoman effort to walk again is well known in the hockey world — many NHL stars have embraced the “Bel13ve in Miracles Foundation” (Jablonski wore #13)

Jablonski is now a sophomore at USC and intern for the Kings.

He admitted to KCAL9’s Erica Nochlin that he was cheering for his home team.

“There are mixed feelings,” Jablonski said, smiling.

Who could blame him? Hockey has been his passion since he was 3-years-old.

“It’s a part of my life,” he said, “Hockey is a family. And I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to stay in the game.”

Staying in the game, obviously, not the way he always thought it would be.

After being paralyzed, he could barely move any part of his body. But his recovery has been tremendous. He’s still in a wheelchair. With the work of his foundation, he’s helped many others also gain mobility that years ago would have been unheard of.

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“We’re doing the right thing. We’re giving a lot of hope to a lot of people,” he said.

This summer, CBS2/KCAL9 donated four suite tickets at the Staples Center, along with airfare and hotel to the Bel13ve in Miracles Foundation. The four winners attended the game with a special appearance by Jablonski. The Kings and the Wild donated other prizes of their own to help in his foundation’s fundraising effort.

Sue Gherity purchased those seats at the fundraiser. She’s watched his remarkable progress but said it was hard watching him overcome.

“It’s so hard to watch,” she said, “You see a healthy young kid like that and he’s totally incapacitated and to see him today, it’s just so awesome. He’s just so much improved.”

His dreams used to be playing for the NHL but now he’s working in it as an intern. And that, he tells Nochlin, is just his warm-up.

“After you’ve been injured, your goals may have to be revised, but there’s nothing you can’t do,” Jablonski says.

For more information about the Bel13ce in Miracles Foundation, click here.

 

 

 

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