Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Former Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier starts nonprofit for spinal injury patients

Much like Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith, former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is one of the most inspiring people in football. 

Three years after suffering a career-ending spinal cord injury, Shazier has launched a new nonprofit to support spinal cord injury patients: the Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation. 

Shazier officially retired from football earlier this year after suffering an on-field spinal injury in 2017. It was believed he wouldn't be able to walk again, but Shazier taught himself how to walk throughout his recovery process.

Spinal cord injuries can not only be difficult to treat, but the medical costs for treatment can be astronomical. Many wouldn't be able to receive the same care Shazier did, and his foundation is going to help with medical costs. 

Many of his former teammates and coaches congratulated him for starting the foundation, including Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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