Rolling Without Limits

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3 Things I've Learned (So Far) When My Friend Was Severely Injured
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3 Things I've Learned (So Far) When My Friend Was Severely Injured

Here’s a little background on what happened to a good friend of mine on October 16th, 2010…

While he was playing football for Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, he was severely injured while making a tackle on a kickoff, fracturing his C3-C4 vertebrae. He was initially told he had a 3% chance of ever regaining movement below the neck. He is now making great progress in therapy.

I remember being on campus that October day and overhearing people say that a helicopter had to come in for a football player because he got severely injured. I did not know who Chris was at the time, but the awareness of the incident spread across campus and I wanted to help, but didn’t know how. I couldn't imagine what he was going through.

Jump ahead two and half years later to March of 2013. By this time I got a chance to contribute some of my skill set and help him out. After a school event that featured some of my video editing work, Chris reached out to me about helping him put together some videos to build awareness for his foundation. That’s right, Chris created a foundation turning his setback into opportunity. He created the SCI CAN Foundation which raises money to help others going through a spinal cord injury.

Here are some of the videos that I've made for him so far…

SCI CAN in Action: Feat. Kamryn Leuenberger

SCI CAN in Action: Feat. Lydia Dawley

Chris Norton Rifton Walk at Carlson Stadium

Chris Norton: Work Hard, Win Easy

Anyway, here are the takeaways I’ve gained while working for my good friend, Chris…

1. Don’t let unfortunate circumstances define you. If something bad happens to you, do something about it. It’s mental. You have the power to turn negative situations into opportunities that trigger success. Chris could have easily looked at the negatives of his situation and given up. Instead, he maintained (still does) a positive attitude and looked beyond his own situation to help others.

2. A positive attitude can move mountains. Negativity blinds you from the positives that are in front of you. Chris doesn’t talk about what he can’t do, he talks about what he will do. He plans on using crutches to walk across the graduation stage next year and I believe he can. He is dedicated every day of his therapy and remains positive about his goal. He also has goals to develop a major rehab facility in Des Moines to help with those who have to commute out of state to get the therapy that they need.

3. Be passionate about something. Passion leads to consistent dedication. Chris is dedicated to what he does because he is passionate about it. This past summer we spent a week in Des Moines interviewing individuals that are positively affected by the donations from Chris’ foundation. These people are able to gain free access to therapeutic equipment that would not have been available if it wasn’t for his foundation’s contributions. I can tell by his interactions with these people he recognizes that his efforts are benefiting others. I know that this will only fuel his fire and allow him to continue his work/calling with infectious passion. His actions make me feel that the video work I am doing for him have purpose and can help in generating awareness of those with spinal cord injuries.

Anyways, I thought I’d share that on here. There are amazing and inspiring posts on this site and I enjoy reading them. If you’d like to learn more about what Chris is doing visit his site at

What things have you guys learned while facing obstacles in your (or somebody else’s) life?

Thanks for reading!


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