Since his own spinal cord injury as a Rutgers football player, Eric LeGrand never hesitated to put himself in the public eye as a voice for research.
Six-and-a-half years, a Tampa Bay Buccaneers contract and media reinvention later, LeGrand remains creative as a fundraiser for spinal cord injury research.
He does it again today with his newest endeavor.
LeGrand partnered with Athletes Brand for a specialized “bELieve” T-shirt fundraiser. A limited-edition shirt, funds raised go to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and Team LeGrand to expand overall research.
Specifically, LeGrand has interest in raising money for epidural stimulation research.
“Things are happening every day,” LeGrand said. “They're about to start implanting more people raising money for more patients. They're getting funds to implant four more and get clinical trials going This is what it's about. It gives people like me hope. The only thing that holds these people back is the funds. I need to do my part for these scientists to do their work and help people.”
According to Athlete's Brand, proceeds “help fund research efforts, care and treatment for those afflicted, and other quality of life initiatives that are provided by the Reeve Foundation.”
“You guys are awesome,” LeGrand said about the Rutgers community. “They are always wishing me well and helping where they can help. Event after event, year in and year out, they're always there to help me with anything I want to do.”
The campaign raised more than $200 in its first afternoon. With an initial goal of $2,000, LeGrand has higher aspirations.
"I would love to destroy $2,000," LeGrand said. "I don't know what the record is but I want to break it. I want to shatter that thing."