Ryan Shazier was a star linebacker with the Pittsburgh Steelers, poised to be one of the franchise’s all-time great players. Then it all changed. During a Monday night game in Cincinnati on Dec. 4, 2017, Ryan suffered a spinal contusion, or a crushing of the spinal cord. The nerve signals in his spine were disrupted, paralyzing his lower body and necessitating emergency spinal stabilization surgery. Doctors said he had a 20 percent chance of walking again, but for Ryan, this was just another obstacle to overcome.
After 130 spinal rehabilitation sessions, Ryan not only gained back strength to walk, but he was able to dance with his wife at their wedding just two years after the devastating injury. Moving on to the next chapter of his life, Ryan is now making it his personal goal to help SCI patients get the treatment they deserve and meet their own goals through the Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation.