Air Date: January 29, 2014
On November 2, 2001, Eddie Canales and his son Chris’ lives forever changed. Chris, a senior defensive back, playing for San Marcos Baptist Academy, suffered a spinal cord injury as he went for a touchdown saving tackle during a football game.
Chris nearly died twice at the beginning of his recovery and his dad Eddie quit his job as a bookstore manager to care for him full-time. A year after his injury, the realization that he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life hit Chris hard and he battled with severe depression.
To cheer him up, Eddie took Chris to the state championship high school football games in Dallas. It was there they witnessed another young football star suffer a spinal cord injury and Chris turned to his dad and said “we need to go help them.”
In 2003, Eddie and Chris Canales founded Gridiron Heroes, a foundation that provides immediate, as well as, long term resources and support to individuals sustaining a catastrophic spinal cord injury through activities associated with high school football.
They’re currently helping more than 100 athletes nationwide and are promoting a new tackling technique called “heads up” that will hopefully prevent these types of injuries.