Friday, October 14, 2011

BELIEVE! has a heartwarming and beautiful story about Rutgers' ex-football player Eric LeGrand.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, it will be one year since the 21-year-old LeGrand played his last football game, made his last tackle. Rutgers had just scored, and kicked off to Army late in a game at the new Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. LeGrand, then a 270-pound defensive lineman for the Scarlet Knights, made a hit on Army kick returner Malcolm Brown and fractured his C3 and C4 vertebrae. LeGrand remembers going down and being dazed, but didn't understand at the time how severely he was hurt.

Eric was paralyzed from the shoulders down. He hasn't let that stop his spirit, however.
The amazing thing now is, for a guy who still can't scratch his nose, LeGrand will tell you with a smile -- always with a smile -- why he has so many reasons to be grateful.

He survived an injury that not everyone survives.

He's breathing without a ventilator, something doctors had told his mother would be unlikely.

He spent five months as a patient at Kessler Institute in West Orange, N.J., where he saw people with spinal cord injuries who could not even eat. Now he's an outpatient there, rehabbing three days a week.

After missing most of his junior year, he's back to working on his degree at Rutgers. He takes classes three nights a week, using an online video conference to watch the lectures from home.

He greets his former teammates in the locker room before each Rutgers home game, then he goes to his new job.

Like most athletes do when they are done playing, LeGrand is now a sportscaster. He does analysis during pregame, postgame and halftime of Rutgers radio broadcasts. He's already done his first TV spot, too.

This is an amazing young man who speaks of when (never IF) he walks again. As Coach Schiano and Rutgers keep preaching he just keeps chopping. Doing what he has to do so someday he will be able to do what he wants to do: Get up and walk off the field under his own power.

I've heard Eric on the pregame, half time and post game shows of the Rutgers' football radio broadcasts. (Saturday's Home Coming Game against Navy is set to kickoff at 2 PM. You can hear Eric and the rest of the broadcast staff on WCTC if you tune in about an hour before that.) He has a wonderful radio personality and is very knowledgeable of the game. Go on over to read the entire story.

One thing missing is a link to the Eric LeGrand Believe Fund. If you can help in any way please do so.

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