Monday Night Football.
Steelers vs. Bengals in Cincinnati, OH.
Ryan Shazier makes what looks to be a very typical tackle over the middle of the field, grasps at his back and rolls over. He doesn’t move his lower body after that moment.
Fans know what ensued after that.
The medical cart comes out, fans are reading Kevin Colbert’s lips telling Mike Tomlin Shazier can’t move and the reports begin rolling in.
From that moment Shazier was told it was unlikely he would ever walk again, let alone play football again. But Shazier made it a point to prove people wrong. To make sure he returns to the game he has loved since a little boy.
He has already proven many wrong, and has also decided to help as many other people as he can who are dealing with their own adversity in their lives. Most recently is a woman named Kristin Fox, a native of Poland, Ohio.
Fox had her arms and legs amputated after complications with the flu, and got a surprise visit from Shazier and retired Marine Brandon Rumbaugh, who lost both of his legs after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan in 2012, the other day.
“It’s awesome to talk to people who have experienced different things, obstacles in life and things like that, and for them to take time out of their busy schedules to meet with me is amazing,” Fox said.
Shazier did his best to let Fox know she cant’ do it by herself. She will need help, and it truly is a group effort.
“It takes a village to raise a kid and it’s also the same thing for some of the adversity we’ve gone through. She needs to lean on her family and her friends, just like I have, and also just being able to think about where I want to be and how I want to get there,” said Shazier.
Fox, a long-time Steelers fan, is determined to defy the odds, much like Shazier has already done after his injury in 2017.
“I’ll come out walking. That’s my biggest thing, to walk, to drive, all the things I did before. Run again, all those things. Go back to the Buckeyes games, Steelers games and just be me again,” Fox said.
What was it about Fox’s story which made him reach out and help? Well, one thing is certain...it helps the team she roots for.
“It definitely makes it a little extra special because she’s not a Browns fan,” said Shazier.
Shazier is cut from a different clothe than most. He not only was able to overcome the difficulties after his injury, but has become determined to help others along the way. Steelers fans continue to ‘Shalieve’, and wish both Fox and Shazier nothing but the best moving forward.