THE JOE JACKSON FOUNDATION DONATES ITS 1ST RUGBY WHEELCHAIR

THE JOE JACKSON FOUNDATION DONATES ITS 1ST RUGBY WHEELCHAIR

News Release- For Immediate Release


On Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 1:00 pm, The Joe Jackson Foundation will award Andrew Donnellan a rugby sport wheelchair during Arizona Outcast Desert Dual III Wheelchair rugby tournament held at Broadway Recreation Center, which is operated by Mesa Association of Sports for the Disable in Mesa, Arizona.  Donnellan of Tucson, Arizona was injured during a gymnastics tumbling accident.

The mission of the Joe Jackson Foundation Individual Grant Program is to support children and their families in providing adaptive equipment post-injury. The Joe Jackson Foundation’s Individual Grants provide funding for adaptive equipment, some sports and recreational equipment necessary to allow those living with paralysis to continue on living their dreams and accomplishing their goals.

About the Joe Jackson Foundation

The Joe Jackson Foundation was established on October 26, 2006 to help spinal cord injury survivors and inspire children to continue to strive for their goals.  Inspired by Joe’s own story, the foundation created by his calling to primarily help inspire individuals disabled by SCI to continue living actively because there’s much to overcome despite the challenges they face and to fund future opportunities for Joe’s quest to walk again.

Joe Jackson, a former Hamilton High School football player was injured during football practice in November 2005.

PARALYZED HAMILTON TEEN A PRIZED PUPIL

PARALYZED HAMILTON TEEN A PRIZED PUPIL

“He reminds me of how blessed I am to be an educator,” Hogan said of the Hamilton High School football player who suffered a serious spinal-cord injury in November that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He’s currently in rehabilitation at Barrow Neurological Institute in central Phoenix.

“He has taught me that true courage is putting a smile on your face and laughing at yourself and your daily follies as you conquer life’s most powerful blows. He has taught me that faith is all we really have when life gets tough.”

Hogan, an English teacher at Hamilton, is part of a team of five from the school that has been taking lessons to Jackson while he recuperates at Barrow.

For two hours a day, five days a week, Jackson gets instruction in English, marketing (from Susan Flynn), chemistry (Debbie Crane), math (Eric Miller) and history (Les Renner).

This way, he won’t lose ground academically and will be positioned to graduate with his class in 2007. Jackson hopes to be cleared by doctors and physical therapists to return to the Hamilton campus for the fourth quarter this school year. If not, he vows to be back in the fall.

“I want to go back to school and be around everybody,” Jackson said.

Calling it “a learning process for both of us,” Hogan said this is her first experience with homebound instruction.

The Chandler Unified School District makes it available to any student who has either an acute problem or needs to be out for at least three months. Medical certification is required.

Hogan initially became acquainted with Jackson when he was in her zero-hour English class as a sophomore. His boundless enthusiasm won her over.

“There are students who leave footprints on my heart, and Joe was that student,” she said. “Every morning, he made me smile. Zero hour comes early (6:40 a.m.), but Joe was always full of energy. He is well liked by so many. It’s tremendous that our students drive down (to Barrow) and spend hours with their friend, having movie nights and playing video games.”

Todd and JoAnn Jackson, Joe’s parents, have placed few restrictions on visitors.

“We just let everybody come,” said Todd, an engineer at Intel who only recently returned to work. “We felt it would be right for Joseph. He is a social butterfly, anyway.”

Hogan said the family’s strength comes from its deep faith. “The Jacksons have taught me what true love for a son really means,” she said.

Reprinted with permission:
Doug Carroll
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 11, 2006 12:00 AM

No. 30: Still part of team

No. 30: Still part of team

Paralysis doesn’t keep injured football player from being in middle of action.

 

Mark Armijo

The Arizona Republic

Sept. 2, 2006 12:00 AM

 

When Hamilton High School wide receiver Joe Jackson suffered a broken neck during practice last season, paralyzing him from the waist down, some thought he would never return to the sidelines.

They were wrong. As Hamilton beat Red Mountain last week at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium, Jackson cheered wildly on the sideline.

Nothing could stop him from experiencing the joy of victory. Not even paralysis.

Jackson, a reserve junior wide receiver last season at the Chandler school, was injured trying to make a tackle during a practice for a state playoff game in November.

In the blink of an eye, Jackson’s life changed forever. Barring a cure, his life now must be negotiated from a wheelchair.

But instead of cursing the world for his injury, the 16-year-old has chosen a different path, one that has him tackling each day’s new challenge as if he were still on the football field scrapping with defensive backs.

“Even after what happened, I’ve never been down,” Jackson said during lunch after participating in a Huskies pep rally. “There’s no reason to be. I was always positive before.

There’s no reason to change. Being negative is not going to get you anywhere in life.” Being positive is what put Jackson back on the sideline. It will keep him there for every game this season.

It’s what persuaded Hamilton coach Steve Belles to make certain Jackson was part of the pre-game coin toss against Red Mountain, a ceremony reserved mostly for captains.

And it’s why Hamilton players are wearing helmets this season with the No. 30 on them, Jackson’s old number. “We’re doing that to show that we haven’t forgotten Joe,” said Hamilton wide receiver Chase Barth, who takes turns driving Jackson to school.

“He still comes to our practices when it isn’t too hot, and so we’re going to keep including him in everything. When we took our team photo, he was there with us.

“We’re just glad to have him back. We want to keep him as our teammate.”

Belles was not at Hamilton last season. He took the job in the spring when John Wrenn opted to become an assistant coach at ASU. But it didn’t take Jackson long to grow on Belles. “I have a ton of respect for people in Joe’s position, but for him especially just because he’s so young and is handling it so well. I talked to our captains about Joe being part of the coin toss, and they thought it was a great idea.”

Jackson said he’s deeply humbled. “When I came back to school (last March), I didn’t know how people would react,” said Jackson, who can move his arms and wrists but is unable to move his fingers.

“I wish I could be out there playing. I love football. . . . Just because what happened to me doesn’t mean I don’t like it anymore. I won’t play again, but I know I can still watch my team.

“There’s no reason to be sad. . . . This happened for a reason and so I don’t ever say, ‘Why me?’ I don’t get bummed out.”

Todd Jackson, Joe’s father, isn’t surprised with his youngest son’s attitude.

“He’s always been a positive person,” the elder Jackson said of Joe, who has a 3.85 grade-point average and plans to major in engineering at ASU or the University of Southern California.

“He’s got a big heart.” A big heart in a small body. At 5 feet 5 and 125 pounds last season, larger defensive backs often overmatched the younger Jackson but he played often during Hamilton blowouts.

The Jackson family, which includes Joe’s mother, JoAnn, now want to help other paralysis victims.

They have started paperwork to create the Joe Jackson Foundation, which Todd said would help provide financial assistance for anyone in the country who is unable to purchase equipment to aid their rehabilitation.

Jackson finished his three weeks ago. “Joe is our hero, and this is something we just feel we need to do,” Todd said.

Paralyzed receiver is tackling life

Paralyzed receiver is tackling life

STILL A PART OF THE TEAM: Despite being paralyzed after breaking his neck in football practice last November, Joe Jackson will still be at every Hamilton game. Above: Andy Workman guides Jackson off the field.

Hamilton’s Joe Jackson stays positive, cheers on teammates
Mark Armijo
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 31, 2006 12:00 AM

When Hamilton High School wide receiver Joe Jackson suffered a broken neck during practice last season, paralyzing him from the waist down, some thought he’d never return to the sidelines. They were wrong.

As Hamilton beat Red Mountain on Friday at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium, a 21-7 season-opening victory that revealed a state championship again may be within its grasp, Jackson cheered wildly on the sideline.   Nothing could stop him from experiencing the joy of victory. Not even paralysis.  Jackson, a reserve junior wide receiver last season, suffered a broken neck during practice for a state playoff game last November.

In the blink of an eye, Jackson’s life changed forever. Barring a cure, his life now must be negotiated from a wheelchair. But instead of cursing the world for his injury, Jackson has chosen a different path, one that has him tackling each day’s new challenge as if he were still on the football field scrapping with defensive backs.

Even after what happened, I’ve never been down,” Jackson said during lunch Friday after participating in a Huskies pep rally before the team’s season opener. “There’s no reason to be. I was always positive before. There’s no reason to change. Being negative is not going to get you anywhere in life.

Being positive is what put Jackson back on the sideline Friday. It will keep him there for every game this season. It’s what persuaded Hamilton coach Steve Belles to make certain Jackson was part of the pregame coin toss against Red Mountain, a ceremony reserved mostly for team captains.

And it’s why Hamilton players are wearing helmets this season with the No. 30 on it, Jackson’s old number. “We’re doing that to show that we haven’t forgotten Joe,” said Hamilton wide receiver Chase Barth, who along with friends Louis Prisco and Michael Martinez take turns driving Jackson to school.

Belles wasn’t at Hamilton last season. A former Mountain Ridge coach, he took the job last spring when John Wrenn opted to become an assistant coach at Arizona State University. But it didn’t take Jackson long to grow on Belles.

I have a ton of respect for people in Joe’s position, but for him especially just because he’s so young and is handling it so well. I talked to our captains about Joe being part of the coin toss, and they thought it was a great idea.” Jackson said he’s deeply humbled.

When I came back to school (last March), I didn’t know how people would react,” said Jackson, who can move his arms and wrists, but is unable to move his fingers.

But everybody was so nice and wanting to help me. . . . I wish I could be out there playing. I love football. . . . There’s no reason to be sad. . . . This happened for a reason and so I don’t ever say, ‘Why me?’ I don’t get bummed out.

Todd Jackson, Joe’s father, isn’t surprised with his youngest son’s (older son Todd Jr. is a senior at the University of Arizona) attitude.

He’s always been a positive person,” the elder Jackson said of Joe, who has a 3.85 grade-point average and plans to major in engineering at ASU or the University of Southern California. “He’s got a big heart.

A big heart in a small body. At 5 feet 5 and 125 pounds last season, larger defensive backs often overmatched the younger Jackson. But he played often during Hamilton blowouts last season and finished the season with one reception.

The Jackson family, which includes Joe’s mother, JoAnn, now want to help other paralysis victims. They have started paperwork to create the Joe Jackson Foundation, which Todd said would help provide financial assistance for anyone in the country who is unable to purchase equipment to aid their rehabilitation. Jackson finished his three weeks ago.

Joe is our hero, and this is something we just feel we need to do,” Todd said.

Hamilton player back in classroom

Hamilton player back in classroom

Jackson, battling paralysis, on track to graduate in ’07

Doug Carroll

The Arizona Republic

Mar. 29, 2006 12:00 AM

 

Joe Jackson returned to class at Hamilton High School on Tuesday for the first time since breaking his neck in football practice last fall.

A team of Hamilton teachers had helped Jackson, who is paralyzed below the waist, keep up with his studies during his stay at Barrow Neurological Institute in central Phoenix. He returned home from Barrow a few weeks ago.

“The family wanted his return to school to be low-key, and we tried to keep it that way,” Hamilton Principal Fred DePrez said Tuesday morning. “He had to get up two hours early to come to school, so he’s struggling and he’s tired.”

Jackson was injured while trying to make a tackle during an intrasquad scrimmage Nov. 21. The news devastated the south Chandler school, and its unbeaten, No. 1-ranked football team considered dropping out of the state playoffs.

With the team deciding to dedicate the remainder of the season to Jackson, Hamilton defeated Mesa Westwood before losing to Brophy Prep in the Class 5A Division I championship game.

Throughout his rehabilitation at Barrow, Jackson’s goal had been to return to campus in time for the start of the fourth quarter, which began Tuesday after a two-week spring break. With the tutoring he has received, he is on track to graduate with his class in spring 2007.

Paralyzed receiver is tackling life

Paralyzed athlete inspires others

Doug Carroll
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 12, 2006 12:00 AM

Custom-made jerseys from members of the Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Rattlers hang in the closet of Joe Jackson’s room at Barrow Neurological Institute in central Phoenix. The walls are covered with the best wishes of friends and strangers alike: former Arizona State University coach Frank Kush, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and the football teams at Corona del Sol, Mesquite and North high schools. Autographed balls were sent by the Denver Broncos and St. Louis Rams, and a framed photo of Jackson in his No. 30 football uniform rests against a wall.
But these are just things to Jackson, a 16-year-old Chandler teenager whose life was forever changed when he broke his neck Nov. 21 while trying to make a tackle during an intrasquad scrimmage at Hamilton High School. The injury left him paralyzed from the waist down, but he’s still here. Maybe that’s how he’s able to radiate a positive outlook through a daily tedium of therapy that might leave others feeling blue. Or why his megawatt smile almost makes his wheelchair disappear. Jackson’s easygoing nature and quiet confidence are magnetic, drawing others to him. In this respect, the accident changed nothing. “I leave that place fully uplifted,” said Ernest Jones of his visits to Jackson at Barrow. Jones, a former National Football League player, is Jackson’s former youth football coach. He lives in Chandler. “He’s an inspiration, and I’m not just saying that because of the situation he’s in. I would have told you the same thing before his injury.” According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, there were 25 catastrophic injuries during high school football participation in 2003, the most recent year reported. While that was the highest number since 1998, such injuries are still rare. On that November day in Chandler, even the toughest athletes and coaches at Hamilton cried when they heard the news. After considering forfeiting a playoff game against Mesa Westwood, the team dedicated its state championship quest to Jackson. “For coaches, players are like our kids,” said John Wrenn, Hamilton’s head coach, who visits Jackson every Saturday. “It’s like one of our own getting hurt. The last two weeks (of the season) meant very little. This put a different light on things.”

-Battered, not broken-
A C-6 cervical injury such as the one incurred by Jackson usually results in quadriplegia and limited use of the hands. Although Jackson is paralyzed, the prospects of him leading an independent life are relatively good, according to Dr. Sally Alcott, a neuro-rehabilitation physician at Barrow. “He’s a pretty typical C-6 in terms of the strength and sensation he has,” Alcott said. “It’s very important to have a good attitude. Those people do better.” Jackson has that attitude – and no regrets about playing his sport. “People always ask if I hate football because of my injury,” he said. “But the injury won’t make me change my mind. I love football. I was watching it all the time (on TV) right after it happened.” Todd and JoAnn Jackson know what their son is up against. But theirs is a deeply spiritual, Christian household. A favorite family Bible verse is Philippians 4:13: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” “That is the key,” Todd said. “If you don’t have faith, there is no other way. It’s how we draw support. It’s what we believe.” Added encouragement came from a phone conversation with the father of Adam Taliaferro, a Penn State football player who was similarly injured in a game in 2000 and wrote a book about the recovery process, Miracle in the Making. Shortly after Joe’s injury, the Jacksons happened to be reading the book when Andre Taliaferro called. “He said to believe in a miracle,” Todd said. “He said that even though the doctors have good intentions and know a lot from research, it’s not the final say. He said to continue to support and love him and keep positive people around him.” The Jacksons are resolute about moving forward and not looking back. “Once you know how close Joe might have been to not being with us,” Todd said, “there is no opportunity to dwell on (the negative). We’re thankful to have Joe around. The focus is not on what he can’t do. The focus is on what he can and will do.” Joe undergoes three hours a day of physical and occupational therapy, five days a week. “I’ve never heard him say, ‘I can’t do that,’ ” physical therapist Brianna Murphy said. “What he can do for himself is amazing. He doesn’t like people to do things for him.” In the morning, Jackson practices rolling over on his side and sitting on the edge of the bed. He is learning to transfer himself from bed to wheelchair with the use of a slide board. He does a variety of leg stretches. In the afternoon, he lifts weights for his shoulders and works on the fine motor skills involved in clutching small items. “It’s physical, but it’s easy,” he said. “I’m used to it. Football is what’s hard.”

-School comes to him-
Because he cannot return to school yet, a team of five Hamilton teachers has brought school to him. For two hours, usually in the late afternoon, he gets a week’s worth of instruction in one of five subjects: English, math, chemistry, history or marketing. “My ‘classroom’ is located in the lounge by the Starbucks, where Joe and I can find some sun,” said Jessica Hogan, an English teacher who is part of the teaching team. “Instead of having 35 students, I have one. Joe is writing now, and he jokes with me about his legibility. “Joe has an amazing spirit. It’s rare. He will accomplish anything that he wishes.” Jackson’s goal is to return to campus for the school year’s fourth quarter. With the tutoring, he is on track to graduate with his class in spring 2007. History teacher Les Renner knows his student wants no sympathy, and Renner isn’t cutting him any slack. “I told him, ‘Joe, there are no free rides, you gotta earn it,’ ” Renner said.

-Friends at his side-
Just as the teachers have come to him, so have his friends. Few restrictions have been placed by the Jacksons on comings and goings, with no need to check teenage humor at the door. Classmates Louis Prisco, Michael Martinez, Chase Barth and Dan Carroll didn’t miss a day during winter break. They had wheelchair races when the Barrow staff wasn’t looking and intense video-game battles on the Xbox 360 in Jackson’s room. But the mood turns serious when the boys think back to the week of the injury. “When you see your coaches breaking down in front of you,” Barth said, “it hits you hard. After every practice, we’d pray for him. Joe and I were partners in most of the drills. Without him, something was missing.” Martinez finds it difficult to leave his friend at the end of a visit. “He has to see our backs walking out of there, and he can’t walk out with us,” he said. Jones, the former NFL player, said he has seen professional athletes without such inner strength. “That’s one kid who will never feel sorry for himself,” he said. “I’ve mentored a lot of young people, and his character is unbelievable. He is a joy to be around. “God has a purpose for him.”

PARALYZED HAMILTON TEEN A PRIZED PUPIL

High school goes to Joe

Joe Jackson and Hamilton High English teacher Jessica Hogan study The Great Gatsby together during a Saturday session at Barrow Neurological Institute. Five teachers have been coming to the hospital to help Jackson keep up with his classes.

 

Paralyzed Hamilton teen a prized pupil

Doug Carroll

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 11, 2006 12:00 AM

 

Jessica Hogan is one of Joe Jackson’s teachers. Or is it the other way around?

“He reminds me of how blessed I am to be an educator,” Hogan said of the Hamilton High School football player who suffered a serious spinal-cord injury in

November that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He’s currently in rehabilitation at Barrow Neurological Institute in central Phoenix.

“He has taught me that true courage is putting a smile on your face and laughing at yourself and your daily follies as you conquer life’s most powerful blows. He

has taught me that faith is all we really have when life gets tough.”

Hogan, an English teacher at Hamilton, is part of a team of five from the school that has been taking lessons to Jackson while he recuperates at Barrow.

For two hours a day, five days a week, Jackson gets instruction in English, marketing (from Susan Flynn), chemistry (Debbie Crane), math (Eric Miller) and history

(Les Renner).

This way, he won’t lose ground academically and will be positioned to graduate with his class in 2007. Jackson hopes to be cleared by doctors and physical

therapists to return to the Hamilton campus for the fourth quarter this school year. If not, he vows to be back in the fall.

“I want to go back to school and be around everybody,” Jackson said.

Calling it “a learning process for both of us,” Hogan said this is her first experience with homebound instruction.

The Chandler Unified School District makes it available to any student who has either an acute problem or needs to be out for at least three months. Medical

certification is required.

Hogan initially became acquainted with Jackson when he was in her zero-hour English class as a sophomore. His boundless enthusiasm won her over.

“There are students who leave footprints on my heart, and Joe was that student,” she said. “Every morning, he made me smile. Zero hour comes early (6:40 a.m.),

but Joe was always full of energy. He is well liked by so many. It’s tremendous that our students drive down (to Barrow) and spend hours with their friend, having

movie nights and playing video games.”

Todd and JoAnn Jackson, Joe’s parents, have placed few restrictions on visitors.

“We just let everybody come,” said Todd, an engineer at Intel who only recently returned to work. “We felt it would be right for Joseph. He is a social butterfly,

anyway.”

Hogan said the family’s strength comes from its deep faith. “The Jacksons have taught me what true love for a son really means,” she said.

JOE STAYS THE COURSE WITH SCHOOL

JOE STAYS THE COURSE WITH SCHOOL

After three weeks of intensity care, one week of selective care and now starting the long road of intensive rehab, Joe Jackson and Hamilton High English teacher Jessica Hogan study The Great Gatsby together during a Saturday session at Barrow Neurological Institute. Five teachers have been coming to the hospital to help Jackson keep up with his classes.

Picture taken by Yoko Furukawa/The Republic.