“I want to be there for people who are going through similar struggles. No matter who you are or what you’re going through, we’re all in life together. We need to take care of each other.”
– Ryan Shazier
During the 2017 season against the Cincinnati Bengals, Shazier attempted to make a head first tackle that left him a paraplegic, and he had to have spinal stabilization surgery and learn to walk again.
Ryan found restorative healing through medical marijuana as he underwent intensive physical therapy while regaining his ability to walk. He found medical marijuana to be a safe, natural alternative to opioids to combat pain associated with a serious spinal injury and the intense rehabilitation following that injury.
Spinal cord rehabilitation is expensive, painful and exhausting for patients and their caregivers. During his recovery process, Ryan had the opportunity to meet SCI patients, caregivers and families, many of whom opened up to him about their mental, physical and emotional struggles. Through countless stories, Ryan soon realized a reoccurring theme: there’s a tremendous need when it comes to funding, resources and support for the SCI community.