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May 27, 2015
Chris Norton defied the odds Sunday when he walked across the stage to collect his diploma during the Luther College commencement ceremony while the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Norton fractured part of his spine in a 2010 Luther football game and doctors told him he had only a 3 percent chance of regaining movement below his neck. But after four years of physical therapy and help from his fiancée Emily Summer, Norton walked across the stage Sunday morning and his story has been told by news organizations across the country. “My graduation walk was what I considered my game day or Olympic event,” Norton said in an interview with NBC News this week. “My full focus was to take the best steps I could possibly take and not worry about the audience or anything else.” Because he is aware other people with similar injuries don’t always have access to the same type of care he received, Norton started SCI CAN Foundation to raise money for those who don’t have access to equipment that could help them recover. (Photo by Aaron Lurth, Luther College Photo Bureau)
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