Chris Norton, a junior at Luther College, is working hard toward his goal of walking across the stage to collect his college diploma next spring. He broke his neck during a college football game in 2010. (Photos by Luther College Director of Visual Media Aaron Lurth)
Chris Norton, a junior at Luther College, is working hard toward his goal of walking across the stage to collect his college diploma next spring. He broke his neck during a college football game in 2010. (Photos by Luther College Director of Visual Media Aaron Lurth)
Luther College junior Chris Norton was featured on the front page of the Des Moines Register last week for his plans to walk across the stage to receive his college diploma next spring.
Norton broke his neck during a college football game in October of 2010 and was given only a 3 percent chance of ever moving below the neck again. But today, the Bondurant-Farrar High School graduate can stand on his own, and can walk with some assistance. Of his plans for graduation day 2015, Norton told the Register, “I might be using crutches. It might be with a walker. But it will be independently. I will do it on my own.”
About a year ago, Norton, along with his family and friends, founded SCI CAN, a foundation which raises money to provide equipment for other people who have suffered spinal cord or other neurological injuries. Now, Norton’s girlfriend, Emily Summers, a University of Northern Iowa student from Muscatine, is trying to raise the money for a specially equipped vehicle that would allow Norton to drive again. It costs about $150,000.
She entered him in a National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association competition. Contestants’ stories are posted online and four are selected to win a customized vehicle. Summers made Norton’s video. On it she explains. “He is the most inspiring person I have ever met and he has used the challenge in his life to help other people.”
The contest has about 1,300 entrants and those who finish in the top 10 of online voting will be forwarded to an independent panel, which will select the four winners. To vote, visit www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/Christopher-norton-altoona-ia/. Voting ends Friday, May 9.