With my pal Brandon Adam preparing for his first ever game with USA National Sled Hockey team I felt this was an appropriate time to share yet another no coincidences story.
To set this one up I need to first tell you about Jamie Ketchum. Jamie is truly a miracle, burned over 95% of her body she actually broke the records set by Dave Repsher with longest stay ever in the UC Health burn center. I first heard about Jamie from my buddy Mike Mazzanti
on January 18th of 2020 and I couldn’t wait to meet her. Well get this, only two days later (1/20/20) I headed to an Avalanche game and as I settled into my seat and looked to my left and sitting literally right next to me was the “one and only” Jamie Ketchum! 18,000 fans and my seat is side by side to Jamie’s, how is that even possible? I could hardly believe my own eyes, when I said, “you’re Jamie Ketchum, aren’t you?” Absolutely unbelievable! Jamie and her husband (Troy) have since moved to Wisconsin but we still stay in touch. Jamie and Troy are big hockey fans and she has shared with me her goal of some day playing sled hockey!
Now here’s the full circle. A couple of weeks ago I received a text with a picture from both Brandon and Jamie. Mind you neither had ever met nor even knew anything about each other. They just happened to both be in Joliet, Illinois on the same day, at the same time, in the same location (David Rotter Prosthetics). Brandon was there to be custom fitted for the sled hockey bucket that he’d be wearing in the upcoming World Championships, and Jamie was there to be fitted for a prosthetic arm. The two strangers began talking and somehow realized they both knew me and Dawg Nation. How bout that?!
Yesterday was Memorial Day and that’s an extra special day for anyone that has served their country. Brandon, a veteran, lost his legs in battle, but never lost this will and determination. So it’s more than appropriate that his first ever game in the red, white and blue lands directly on Memorial Day. Best of luck Brandon, we are all rooting for you!
And not to be lost in this incredible story is the fact that Jamie’s initials, “JK”, happen to be the exact same initials of Jack Kelly. And anyone that knows me knows that my life forever changed on the day that I said goodbye to my own “JK”.
God Bless and here’s to all the men and women that have made the ultimate sacrifice to make the world a better place.