McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Sports

September 12, 2012

LeGrands reach out to family of hurt Tulane player

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

The Reeve Foundation raises money for research to find a cure for spinal cord injuries. It was founded by the late Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed in an accident at an equestrian competition in 1995, and his wife, Dana.

Karen LeGrand said she wanted to get word to the Walkers that they were praying for Devon, and that she and Eric would make themselves available to help in any way they could. She hasn’t heard back from Inez Walker, but she’s not surprised.

“When I was in the same situation, everybody is reaching out and it’s wonderful, but myself, I really didn’t want to talk to anybody,” she said.

“When she’s ready to reach out, I’ll be here.”

Walker, his family and Tulane can expect plenty of support from Rutgers.

Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood said he left a phone message with Tulane coach Curtis Johnson, and Rutgers head athletic trainer David McCune similarly reached out to his counterpart with the Green Wave.

Spinal cord injuries are unpredictable by nature and the first few days can be especially difficult because there is so much uncertainty.

“You’re not worried about what’s going to happen three months from now,” Karen LeGrand said. “You’re just trying to get through the day.”

Eric LeGrand has come a long way since he was injured and doctors told Karen that he would likely spend the rest of his life breathing with the aid of ventilator.

Eric LeGrand now does physical therapy five days a week, takes college classes and works as a radio announcer on Rutgers games.

The LeGrands are also working with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to start their own foundation.

“People need to know everything doesn’t stop because you have a spinal cord injury,” Karen LeGrand said.

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