CBS Boston / Youtube | Inset: John Gress Media Inc /

After a high school hockey accident paralyzed Jake Thibeault from the waist down, his work ethic and grit garnered a new friendship with actor Mark Wahlberg. The actor said, “For Jake to have the attitude that he has had at the age that he has, it’s very inspiring. We’ve become good friends. Obviously, we have got a lot in common from being back home, and sports and family and all that stuff, but his work ethic and his attitude are something that continues to encourage me every day.”

Thibeault said, “He gave me a call, and I was kind of a little blown away. I was like, holy cow. But now it’s just a friendship. We talk often, once or twice a week and text often.” September marks the second anniversary of the spinal cord injury that left Thibeault unable to use his legs. Wahlberg shared a video on Instagram of Thibeault’s physical therapy as he works to restore his strength.

Thibeault said of the video, “It’s gone pretty, pretty viral, I guess you could say. Mark was nice enough to put it up. I did not expect it to reach as many people as it did, but I am glad it did because it can help one more person. He’s an impressive guy in what he does with his life and how he carries himself in his life. It’s inspiring to me, and it’s motivating to me.” Thibeault hopes not only to walk again but to get back on the ice and skate.

He said, per HITC, “I told my parents I have an order. I’m gonna walk, then run, then skate, and I may skip run and try to skate first. But it truly goes back to just the no quit, and I’m refusing to lose. And that stuck with me to this day, and it will stick with me until I’m on my feet.” Thibeault told CBS Boston, “I’m a true believer that anything in life you work hard and you want it bad enough you can get.” So far, his hard work has paid off, and he is progressing towards his goal.

Thibeault said, “I was up in a walker; I can swing my legs through now in a way that it takes all my momentum and all my strength, but I can swing through on my own, but I can’t get lock out, that’s the biggest thing we are working on right now trying to get my quads to fire. According to WCVB, one of the muscles in his hip briefly started contracting for the first time since his accident.

While Thibeault’s dream of recovery fuels his relentless work, he is also sustained by his faith – something that has only grown stronger over the past two years. He said, “My faith has been strengthened drastically from the injury. My goal is to walk again; my goal is to skate again. I am confident in achieving that.”

“There isn’t anything Jake can’t accomplish, and he does the work with a smile on his face,” Wahlberg added. “He’s got God in his life; he’s super positive about everything he does.”

More from Beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad