Paralyzed football player signed to Bucs “I believe in the man above”May 7, 2012 No Comments
May 7, 2012 | MariaNews.com
Eric LeGrand, a new hero in sports:
(CNN) - Even though it’s symbolic and “there’s no money involved,” Eric LeGrand told CNN over the weekend that he’s thrilled to be on the roster of an NFL team.
The former Rutgers defensive tackle, who was partially paralyzed in 2010 when he injured his spinal cord during a game, was signed to the 90-man offseason roster of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.
LeGrand, who collided with an Army kick returner while making a tackle on October 16, 2010, was initially paralyzed from the neck down. At the hospital, medical personnel told him he’d be a quadriplegic and would need a respirator for the rest of his life.
But LeGrand progressed, breathing on his own after five weeks. He operates a wheelchair, and he’s been able to stand upright with the help of a metal frame.
With medical bills covered in part by donations to two foundations, including Rutgers’ Eric LeGrand Believe Fund, LeGrand says his ultimate goal is to walk again.
“Absolutely. No doubt,” he said confidently when asked if he’ll reach that goal.
“I believe in myself and I believe in the man above,” he said. “I know everything in this world happens for a reason.”
When Tampa signed LeGrand, they presented him with a helmet and personalized Bucs jersey, adding some substance to his dream.
“It is pretty cool … something you always dream about doing and I finally made it,” he gushed.
“I wouldn’t have been able to touch this many people if I was playing football,” a bouyant LeGrand said. “That’s why I know that there was something there for me to do in my life that can hopefully change the world.”
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