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Chris A. Norton was born on March 20, 1992, in Des Moines, Iowa. The day he was born his parents joked that the acronym for his name was C.A.N. This is appropriate because Chris CAN do anything he puts his mind to accomplish. Graduating from Bondurant-Farrar High School, he earned a 3.86 cumulative GPA, top 15% in his class, and was a member of the National Honor Society. Chris excelled in athletics participating in football, basketball, and track. He decided to attend and play football at Luther College.
On October 16, 2010, in Decorah, Iowa, playing for Luther College Chris Norton was severely injured while making a tackle on a kickoff, fracturing his C3-C4 vertebrae. After being told from doctors he had a 3% chance of ever regaining movement below the neck, Chris has defied the odds every step of the way, demonstrating a faith and determination to overcome his circumstance that has inspired millions.
The day after his injury, Chris awoke from surgery without any movement below his neck. He spent the following year in Rochester, MN, devoting his time to intense, daily therapy sessions. Throughout his stay he met others with spinal cord injuries and neurological muscular disorders who were fighting the same kind of daily battle to regain mobility. The impact these remarkable individuals had on Chris stuck with him, so that when he returned to Luther College the next fall he felt inspired to launch the SCI CAN Foundation, with the mission of providing opportunities to individuals in need of a path to recovery.
Chris began his speaking career in college by sharing his story and message to various local groups. From there, the word spread about Chris's powerful presentation and he began to get more speaking referrals and requests. He quickly witnessed the impact his message was having with students, families, health professionals, and business employees; he then felt inspired to make a career out of helping others through his words.
Today, Chris continues on his way to recovery by working out 4 hours a day and his speaking career and the SCI CAN Foundation has flourished. Most recently Chris was able to stand unassisted for 10 minutes and he realized his goal of walking across the stage on graduation day. He devoted the final semester of college leading up to his commencement ceremony to a full-time therapy program in Plymouth, Michigan. However, Chris's journey is far from over. Throughout his life Chris has never lost sight of the idea that with hard work and determination anything is possible. Norton Motivation has expanded on this philosophy so that others are inspired to overcome adversity as Chris has — one step at a time.