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Chris Norton: Courage to push forward

Anything is possible through faith and determination

Former Luther College football player Christopher Norton experienced a life-changing injury Oct. 16, 2010. While making a tackle during kickoff at a game, Norton fractured his C3-C4 vertebrae, resulting in a 2 percent chance of regaining movement below the neck. The prognosis was grim.


Name: Chris Norton

Hometown: Altoona, Iowa

Current residence: Port St. Lucie, Florida

School: Bachelor’s degree in management, Luther College, 2015

Sport: Football

Profession: Motivational speaker, author, founder of SCI CAN Foundation

Fun fact: As a guest on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Norton danced with the TV show’s host.

Since the day of his injury during his freshman year at Luther, Norton has never missed a day of physical therapy. In 2015, he walked across the stage during Luther’s graduation ceremony and received an undergraduate degree in management. Norton continues to inspire millions worldwide by sharing his story of faith, determination and healing.

Norton cites the NCAA’s catastrophic injury insurance program as instrumental in helping him and his family gain access to and partially fund his ongoing therapy. The program covers student-athletes who, like Norton, are catastrophically injured while participating in a covered intercollegiate athletic activity. 

Realizing ongoing therapy is critical to recovery from various levels of neuromuscular deficiencies resulting from a spinal cord injury, Norton started the SCI CAN Foundation at age 20. The organization’s goal is simple: to provide equipment to therapy patients to help them achieve their goals.

Through his journey and the impactful work of his foundation, Norton empowers others by reinforcing that they can do whatever they put their heart into. 

”Courage is overcoming the odds, being able to not give into bad circumstances and to keep pushing forward,” Norton said.

Norton received the 2011 CBS America’s Choice Honor for Courage in Sports, which pays tribute to the world’s greatest and most inspirational athletes, including Walter Payton and Muhammad Ali.

Click here to read more about Norton’s inspirational story.

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