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.
I’m truly excited to announce the Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation. My team and I have been working behind the scenes to find ways to continue to push forward progress for the spinal cord community. One step at a time we will change how people view spinal injuries. pic.twitter.com/kpQtkx0KjB— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) November 23, 2020
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.