Eric LeGrand Took Student With Cerebral Palsy To Her Senior Prom

Eric LeGrand’s life changed drastically when he became paralyzed while making a special teams tackle in 2010.

The former Rutgers defensive tackle has shared his story many times over, including once with us when we first launched Purpose2Play.

“I felt like I was going to die because I couldn’t breathe,” LeGrand told us in 2014. “When I couldn’t move and I couldn’t breathe at the same time, I thought that was the end. I freaked myself out. Coach [Greg] Schiano said, ‘Just pray,’ and that’s all I did was pray.”

He had fractured his C-3 and C-4 vertebrae and had to undergo nine hours of emergency surgery to stabilize his spine.

He told us that he continually makes it his responsibility to get better because so many others looks up to him.

One of those people eyeing his progress and his joyful spirit is high school senior Gianna Brunini. She doesn’t suffer from paralysis but she’s confined to a wheelchair, like LeGrand, due to having cerebral palsy.

After Gianna briefly met LeGrand, her mom penned him a letter asking if he would be up for taking her to her senior prom.

“It’s not often Gianna smiles anymore. Even if it was for one night, it would be worth it,” she wrote according to Mission Possible, LeGrand’s new show chronicling those who overcome major obstacles.

LeGrand took action with the help of good buddy and Good Morning America host, Michael Strahan. LeGrand showed up at her school and asked her to prom in front of her classmates.

“I thought I was going to be sad and lonely, but now I have one of the best prom dates ever,” she said.

Take a look at their evening.

 

Kim Constantinesco

Kim Constantinesco

As the founder and editor-in-chief of Purpose2Play.com, Kim Constantinesco dives under the surface hype to illuminate heroes in the sports world. Whether talking with the first man with cerebral palsy to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, or the first woman to mountain bike across Afghanistan, Kim has a keen interest in shining the spotlight on ordinary people doing extraordinary things. She believes it's time media starts placing a higher value on the people and communities who are actively doing something to make the world a little better. Previously, she covered the Denver Broncos and the NFL for seven seasons. Her work has been featured on NFL.com, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, The New York Times, and USA Today. She resides in Denver, CO. When not working, she can be found deep in the Rocky Mountains throwing backflips on her snowboard. Follow Kim on Twitter: @KimCon14
Kim Constantinesco

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