October 16, 2012 will mark the two-year anniversary of former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand's devastating injury suffered on a routine kickoff against Army.
LeGrand was paralyzed after damaging his spinal cord while going in for a tackle. He hasn't played football, or even walked on his own since. But he continues to smile and inspire two years later, encouraging others and fighting to regain control of his body.
Since the injury, LeGrand has regained movement in his shoulders and sensation throughout his body. He was even signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last May when his former coach at Rutgers, Greg Schiano, took over in Tampa.
This is the moment LeGrand's life changed forever, and what he's attempting to battle back from still after two years:
It's incredible to know that less than 24 months after being paralyzed from the neck down, LeGrand is in such high spirits and motivating so many people through Twitter and other outlets on a daily basis.
Just a year after the collision, LeGrand was back on the Rutgers sideline against Army in November 2011. He took part in the coin toss and helped inspire his teammates to a 27-12 win over the Black Knights.
Last July, LeGrand won the Jimmy V Award at the ESPYs for perseverance and never giving up.
It's safe to say that Eric LeGrand is an inspiration to anyone attempting to walk again or anyone going through tough times of their own, no matter how serious. LeGrand's situation puts everyday problems into perspective.
His attitude and appreciation for a second chance at life has been reported on throughout his recovery, and rightfully so. It's a rare story in sports that actually uplifts.
He even released a book in September titled "Believe: My Faith and the Tackle That Changed My Life."
The 22-year-old New Jersey native looks happier and stronger than ever before. His mental toughness has helped him overcome a traumatic life-changing event and come out of it having impacted more people than he ever could have on the football field.
He has since retired from the NFL but still considers himself a "Buc for life." It's a well-deserved honor and one that likely would not have been achieved if not for LeGrand's remarkable attitude toward taking on his toughest challenge.
Indeed, LeGrand's journey from near death to well-known everyday inspiration and motivator has been a long one—but one that has conquered more ground than ever imagined on the afternoon of October 16, 2010.
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