Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand was playing on special teams on Oct. 16, 2010, when his life changed forever.
The junior defensive tackle collided with another player and remained motionless on the turf. He had broken his C3 and C4 vertebrae and was left paralyzed from the neck down.
It was a similarly frightening scene to what hockey fans saw on Dec. 30 of last year, when Jack Jablonski was checked into the boards from behind and he too lay motionless.
Last night, however, LeGrand rose above the fear and uncertainty on a very public stage. He received the Jimmy V Perseverance Award during ESPN's annual awards show, the ESPYs.
In a moving speech (see full video here), LeGrand said he has "everything that I want in my life right now, all the support, I can do anything that I want to do."
He added: "My dream is to get back up on my feet and inspire millions of people in this world ... I'm going to be walking all over this world, dancing, having a great time."
While I watched LeGrand talk, I couldn't help but think of Jack and his similar struggle. Like LeGrand, Jablonski has vowed to walk again, and like LeGrand, he has the athlete's will and motivation behind him.
Will either of these two walk again? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain: They are courageous beyond belief and we should all find inspiration in them. And hopefully, they can find inspiration in each other.