Westfield High School Hears Inspirational Message from Eric LeGrand – The overflowing auditorium of Westfield High School exploded in applause when retired Rutgers football defensive tackle, Eric LeGrand, wheeled himself on stage.  LeGrand, who was paralyzed in 2010 on the football field, is well known for his positive attitude.  His inspirational message, which was delivered twice so that all 1800 students could listen, included the story of his spinal injury, his ongoing therapy and his appreciation of the support he receives from family, friends, fans, and the medical profession.  His greatest emphasis was on his resolve to not give up.

“I believe I will walk again,” he repeated.  Expressing no bitterness he explained, “This happened to me for a reason.  I’m supposed to do great things with this situation.”  He told the students, “Everyone has to deal with adversity.  You have to believe in yourself.”  He advised the students to “be a family. . . help each other out.  There is no time for bullying in schools.  You will always remember your friends.” 

LeGrand, who was introduced on stage by Westfield High School sophomore Patrick Higgins, graciously accepted questions from the students.  Principal Peter Renwick thanked LeGrand for coming to Westfield and asked the students to “Take away the gift he gives us today and for the rest of your life.”