Four years ago, former Luther College football player Chris Norton was paralyzed from the neck down. This weekend, he walked across a stage to accept his diploma.

Norton, founder of SCI CAN Foundation, suffered a C3/C4 spinal cord injury and was given a 3-percent chance of regaining movement or feeling below his neck. But he said that his faith and the support of family and friends pushed him to never give up.

Norton, who spent five to six hours a day training to walk across the stage, said that the experience was "unbelievable."

“I put in countless hours to make this happen, and it was just a dream come true,” he said.


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The Luther College graduate walked across the stage with the help of his fiancée Emily Summers, who Norton proposed to this weekend.

Summers said she was so proud of Norton’s graduation day walk and that it was “absolutely incredible to be a part of it.”

“She’s such a huge support, so caring, compassionate, and she pushes me, she is constantly making me work harder,” Norton said of his fiancée.

Now, Norton has a new goal: to walk on their wedding day. He said he’s looking forward to all that the future has in store.

“It’s definitely a marathon, not a sprint,” he said.


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