Ryan Shazier launches nonprofit for spinal cord injury patients

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Former Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier made a remarkable recovery from a spinal cord injury he suffered during a game in 2017 and he’s now turning his attention toward helping others make the same kind of progress.

Shazier announced the launch of the Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation this week. The goal of the fund is to provide resources, support, and funding for people with spinal cord injuries as well as their caregivers. The initial focus of the fund is on those injured in vehicular and sports-related accidents.

“My injury has helped me see firsthand what the SCI community goes through every day and the inequities people face when it comes to getting the care they need. I want to be there for people who are going through similar struggles, including their caregivers and families,” Shazier said in a statement.

Shazier was given long odds that he’d walk again after his injury, but he relearned how to do that and went on to dance with his wife at their 2019 wedding. The release announcing the fund notes that the first 18-24 months are crucial to recovery and that Shazier received 130 rehab sessions. Others with less means than a professional athlete only receive 20-30 because of insurance limitations and the new initiative is designed to help people get the same kind of care.