Medical Advances Change the Lives of Those Paralyzed

In the United States, there are over 7,500 young athletes suffering from career ending and life threatening spinal cord injuries (SCI). These paralyzed athletes have lost the ability to use their legs to walk or even stand and sometimes with neck injuries, they even lose the use of their arms. They are individuals who pushed their bodies to gain athletic ability who are now pushing themselves in wheelchairs for the rest of their lives. They never expected to walk again.

Now there is amazing bionic technology being manufactured that change that assumption in miraculous ways. Incredible advances in medical technology are making it possible for SCI victims to walk again on their own two feet. We are dedicated to raising funds to help paralyzed athletes afford this life changing opportunity. Initially developed for paraplegics, paralyzed from the waist down, there is now computer interfacing that allows even some individuals with paralyzing neck injuries the freedom to walk again.

This is a life changing opportunity that gives individuals the chance to walk again. In doing so, they gain a new perspective on life, not the least of which is the ability for them to finally look their family, peers, and colleagues eye to eye.

Inspiration for the Charity

Brothers and Walk Again Athletic Warriors founders, Stephen ‘13 and Brandon Purcell ‘17, are at the forefront of the movement to give all SCI athletes a chance to lead their normal lives, not least by learning to walk again. Athletics have always been their passion. Although Stephen and Brandon were varsity soccer players, they took their athletic abilities and applied their kicking skills to the football field as walk on kickers. Unfortunately one of Tulane’s players, Devon, was paralyzed as the result of a hit during a game against Tulsa. “Devon was a motivating factor in each of our decisions to play football. We had always heard it was incredibly challenging to balance a vigorous course load and play a Division I sport; but after the coaches realized we could kick far, yet accurate field goals in our respective years, they told us stories of other walk ons like Devon. Even though 5:30am workouts were grueling, Devon was there.”

After the incident, before running onto the field for games, we would huddle together to chant “This one’s for Devon.” He continues to be an inspiration to the Purcell brothers and till this day while Brandon followed Stephen in the path of becoming a Tulane football player, Devon is on the sidelines of every game to help lift the team’s spirit. Brandon and Stephen spearheaded the effort to bring Devon’s story to various NFL teams, and surprised him with numerous donated pieces of NFL memorabilia while helping to raise funds for his medical expenses. Devon’s experience only amplified the Purcell brothers’ aspiration to ease the suffering of others.