NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers football player paralyzed during a game in 2010, has touched so many people with his incredible attitude.
LeGrand has turned his journey into an inspiration for so many people. On Thursday, he reached out to a teenager and her family, who are just starting a journey similar to his.
Janekia Wright, who was paralyzed in a car accident 4 months ago, said Legrand’s trademark smile is infectious.
“He’s really amazing, his spirit is really high. Mine is too, but his spirit is like all the way to the sky high,” Janekia told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu.
When LeGrand heard about Janekia’s accident, he wanted to help by visiting her at PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital. He told her not to let the chair confine her and that before his injury, his life was all school and football.
“The stuff I’ve been able to do now is more than I even did before I was even injured,” LeGrand said. “Been able to go to baseball games, football games, soccer, basketball. I want to go on spring break, I want to go down to Miami.”
Wright’s parents say meeting the LeGrand family helps them know they’re not alone.
“It just feels like my heart is just healing, it really is, just healing. It could’ve been worse,” said the Janekia’s father, Malcolm.
“I see big things coming for her, you know she’s doing so well on her therapy. I see big things for her. I see her up on her feet,” LeGrand said.
While doctors have told Janekia it’s likely she won’t walk again, the 18-year-old is determined to beat the odds.
“I know one thing, I’m going to walk again,” she said. “You just have to have faith because I know when I start walking — ‘woah’ you gotta look out for me.”
The same goes for LeGrand who is working on that dream everyday and as far as the future.
LeGrand says he and Janekia will cheer each other on every step of the way and the next celebration will be next week when she’s released from the hospital.