Seton Hall University will sponsor a free event with former NCAA Division I football player Eric LeGrand, who sustained an injury and was paralyzed during a football game.
LeGrand is a former Rutgers fullback and defensive tackle whose career was cut short as a junior on Oct. 16, 2010 when he suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down while playing special teams in a game against Army at MetLife Stadium.
LeGrand will share his personal story of triumph over adversity with speeches from his healthcare professionals who are helping him move forward in his quest to walk again.
“The event Monday is a chance for Eric to tell his story and talk about the adversity that he has overcome,” said physical therapist Sandra "Buffy" Wojciehowski, who has been working with LeGrand since April of 2011. “He will be taking us on a journey from the moment he was injured to where he is today, and relating his experiences to his healthcare team...from the acute setting (meadowlands football field) to his current outpatient rehab team. Guests can expect to learn about the challenges he has faced and how he has gotten to where he is today. He will be talking about his injury and how it has affected his life now...as well as where he sees himself in the years/decades to come.”
The event will be held Monday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Walsh Gymnasium on the Seton Hall University campus.
“School of Health and Medical Sciences alumna and physical therapist Sandra "Buffy" Wojciehowski and occupational therapist Gabriella Stiefbold, healthcare professionals who have worked closely with LeGrand, will provide an insider's perspective on what they add to—and immeasurably gain from—LeGrand's quest to walk again,” Seton Hall posted on its website.
“Eric hasn't had a bad day since I have known him,” said Wojciehowski. “He comes in every day with a smile on his face and a 'get it done' attitude. Eric doesn't ask 'why me?' and he doesn't get angry, he is extremely positive and has often said that he was put in this situation because he could handle it and he would be able to make a difference in the lives of others.”
LeGrand is a a motivational speaker, radio co-host, student, and travels all over the country and never lets his disability stop him, she added.
“He is an advocate for himself and other who have suffered spinal cord injuries and he embraces his roll as someone who can get the message out there and educate the community and the world on what a spinal cord injury is, how debilitating it is and the need for more funding to find a cure,” she said. “He doesn't seem limitations, he just finds ways to get things done.”