That's the reported cost of three months of therapy in Courage Center's ABLE Program, which is an innovative option for people living with paralysis or neurological conditions that stimulates muscles and nerves to promote a greater degree of neuro recovery.
Jack Jablonski, the hockey player who sustained a severe spinal cord injury in a game last December, has been in the program the last two months—and with great results.
"It's crucial to his rehab and his recovery," his mother, Leslie Jablonski, said Thursday during a press conference before a star-studded gala in Jabs' honor. "He's so much stronger and healthier. He's had movement in his legs and felt his toes tingle ... This stuff is unheard of. He wasn't supposed to move his arms or legs."
However, the $18,000 price tag is not currently picked up by insurance, which is why events such as Thursday's gala—which brought hundreds of hockey dignitaries and others to the Xcel Energy Center for $150 per ticket—are so important. The money raised goes directly to helping Jack Jablonski stay in the program and work toward a better quality of life.
It's also makes it clear that such a program should be covered by insurance, at least to a degree. I myself go to a chiropractor a few times per week, and that's partially covered. While not nearly as costly as the ABLE Program, chiropractic work is also not nearly as essential. Sure, it makes my neck and back feel better. But for Jabs, the goal is so much loftier—so much more crucial.
Rachel Kath-Dvorak, a physical therapist with the ABLE Program, said the hope is that insurance companies will soon cover some of the cost. The key, she said, is gathering data on the program's successes, then showing that to insurance companies.
Perhaps Jabs—in addition to inspiring thousands with his story—can also inspire some change within the insurance industry.