HOLMDEL, NJ – In life, there are moments when things don't seem so positive. There are times of challenge or disappointment about life or school or work.

And in these moments, the gift of inspiration can help spirits soar. The perspective of others can provide powerful thought that any obstacle may be overcome.

There are people in the world that have experienced great challenges and both survive and thrive. A special visitor to Holmdel Schools this Friday will share his experience for the betterment of all.

Sign Up for E-News

Eric LeGrand is coming to Holmdel.

Eric LeGrand suffered tremendous injury as a standout defenseman with Rutgers Football.  During a play he tackled an opposing player and then fell to the ground. At Hackensack University Medical Center, he was diagnosed with a C3-C4 spinal injury. The injury paralyzed him from his neck down and he was placed on a ventilator.

When he was well enough he was transferred to Kessler Center for Spinal Cord Rehabilitation for an intensive program. He has continued to inspire and thrive and is coming to meet the students at Indian Hill school on Friday. The event is sponsored by the Indian Hill School PLG.

According to a release from Holmdel schools:

On Friday, March 8th, Motivational Speaker, Sports Analyst and Founder of Team LeGrand, Eric J. LeGrand, will visit Holmdel’s Indian Hill Elementary School for a presentation on overcoming obstacles and giving back to the community. Principal Lisa Marino and School Counselor Stephanie Jennings have been planning this event to complement the school’s character education initiatives this year. 

While playing football for Rutgers University in 2010, LeGrand suffered a severe spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed. While the initial prognosis was grim, he continues to defy the odds as he works towards his goal of someday walking again. In the years following his injury, LeGrand earned his degree in Labor Relations from Rutgers University and became an author and motivational speaker. He now leads his own charity, “Team LeGrand,” which is dedicated to finding a cure for paralysis. In 2012, the prestigious Jimmy V Award for Perseverance was presented to LeGrand at the ESPY Awards. 

School Counselor Jennings, who is a Rutgers graduate herself, was a junior at RU when LeGrand was injured. She witnessed firsthand how he maintained a positive outlook on his personal tragedy. “I couldn’t believe how much of an impact one person could make on thousands of people,” she said. “Our school goal involving character education is to establish and foster a mindful school climate that supports tolerance, acceptance, compassion, and empathy,” she explained. Having LeGrand speak seems like a natural fit for the school’s goal." 

Jennings heard LeGrand speak at another school some time ago. She believes that the experience of meeting and hearing LeGrand was a memorable one for both students and teachers. “The students were receptive of his message,” she said, “he really seemed to get through to so many. The students became reflective about how they could help others,” she explained. “You could tell that based on his talk they became significantly more tolerant of each other moving forward for the remainder of the school year,” she added. “With his visit, we are hoping that our students will reflect on their role in our school and community,” said Principal Lisa Marino. 

The school’s parent group, the Indian Hill Parent Liaison Group (PLG), is helping to fund this event.