CORVALLIS, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Former Indy Racing League driver and quadriplegic Sam Schmidt got behind the wheel several times during race week for the 2014 Indianapolis 500, which kicked off May 18, 2014. Schmidt started off the week completing two warm-up and four qualifying laps on Pole Day in a modified 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray controlled by his head using OptiTrack motion capture technology. Schmidt’s trip around the track maxed out at speeds of 80 miles per hour and marked his first laps on a professional raceway since a 2000 crash at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando left him paralyzed. He also served as the ceremonial pace car for the Indy Lights Freedom 100 on Carb Day, and on Monday following the Indy 500, Schmidt went at it again, this time topping speeds of 106 miles per hour.
In 2000, Indy Racing League driver Sam Schmidt sustained a severe spinal cord injury in a testing crash at Walt Disney World Speedway and became a quadriplegic.
But he has soldiered on as both a winning INDYCAR team owner and as a champion for paralysis research and treatment through the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation.
By his count, the foundation has raised somewhere between $12-13 million since its inception.
HENDERSON, Nev. – A 1999 IndyCar sits inside Sam Schmidt’s Las Vegas-area home. One day, Schmidt, who is a quadriplegic, hopes to drive it again. The notion is not as far-fetched as it might seem.
Schmidt already has started driving a passenger car again. He will get to publicly display his prowess later this month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he helps unveil an innovative technological achievement.
A black 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray has been fitted with advanced electronics and a human-to-machine interface to allow people with disabilities similar to Schmidt’s to drive solo.
Eric LeGrand has never really been one of those people to just concentrate on his school work and go home. Even if school, after he suffered a severe spinal injury on the football field in 2010, is a bit more difficult for him than others.
Instead, LeGrand, who is set to graduate with a degree in business administration and labor relations from Rutgers in May, it’s just one of those things that he fits into a packed day that includes an intense rehab schedule, his broadcasting career, motivational speaking career and raising money to help victims of spinal cord injuries.
CEDAR FALLS | He made the tackle on a kickoff in October 2010 but was down on the turf at Luther College. When they called for a helicopter, Chris Norton suspected he was in serious trouble.
“I was a lifeguard, so I know with any kind of a head or neck injury, you take precautions,” he says.
“I knew it was a lot bigger deal than a neck sprain.”
Norton, 18 at the time, had broken two vertebrae and was paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors offered only a 3 percent chance he would move again. He spent seven months at Mayo Clinic facilities in Rochester, Minn., then transferred to a rehabilitation center in Iowa.
A Miami International Film Festival documentary details the unbreakable bond between NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti and his son, Marc, as they search for a cure for spinal cord injuries.
A horrific injury during a college football game left the son a quadriplegic at age 19, his future uncertain, his neck dislocated at the third and fourth cervical vertebrae. It gave the father, however, a new mission.
AN UNBREAKABLE BOND, a documentary by Emilio Estefan, Jr. The inspirational story of Marc A. Buoniconti
As a junior at the University of Cincinnati, Ryan Atkins was “on top of the world”. He had a full ride scholarship, a good internship and everything that comes with college life.
“I thought at 21 years old, what could be better? And all of a sudden I’m driving with some fraternity brothers and lost control of the car,” explained Atkins.
The accident on Nov. 20, 2009 changed his life.
“Next thing I know, I broke my neck and I was in the hospital for about four months and paralyzed below the shoulders, and not really given much hope from doctors, and pretty much told that this would be my life.”
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Moments after becoming the first player in the 144-year history of Rutgers football to have his jersey retired, Eric LeGrand told a loving crowd that his beliefs haven’t changed in the three years since he was paralyzed in a game against Army.
He will walk again.
In a passionate halftime plea to the crowd shortly after the No. 52 jersey was unveiled on the upper level box at High Point Solutions Stadium where the game is filmed, LeGrand asked them to support research to final a cure for paralysis, a cause he has joined by forming “Team LeGrand.”
Devyn Bisson, 15, suffers a spinal cord injury, gears up the courage to surf again.
HUNTINGTON BEACH She doesn’t remember the man’s name or much more about him. Just that he approached her and asked for donations as she worked at Becker Surfboards.
And how that changed everything.
On that summer day in 2007, Devyn Bisson was the kind of 15-year-old that we want all 15-year-olds to be – bright, athletic, enthusiastic, a bundle of bounce. She was intrigued by what this man was saying.