Subscribe to be updated on announcements, news, and info.

Welcome to the Walking With Anthony Newsletter. Here you will learn about individuals and families living with spinal cord injury, our upcoming charitable events, new and exciting research developments, and much much more.
We are so excited to announce our 2019 Golf Event Honoree, Chris Norton. Chris's incredible story, and his journey after his tragic accident is an inspiration for the SCI community.
We also want to take a moment to let you know how touched we are that you're on this journey with us. THANK YOU for being a dedicated and valued member of our community, and advocate for the millions of individuals living with paralysis. Your generosity allows us to consistently provide support and resources to those whose lives have been forever changed due to spinal cord injury. Because of you we have been able to change many lives and will continue to do so.
Thank you,
Micki & Anthony Purcell

Spotlight on
Chris Norton

Our 2019 Golf Tournament Honoree

Age: 27
Hometown: Altoona, Iowa
Occupation: Motiational Speaker, Father, Author
Upcoming: Documentary about hs incredible true story.

Chris's Story

In 2010, while playing college football for Division III Luther College in Iowa, defensive back Chris Norton was left paralyzed after fracturing his C3 and C4 vertebrae while making a tackle. The fracture occurred on impact as his head collided with the ball carrier’s knee during a kick-off return. As the pile cleared, Norton lay face down, motionless on the ground. He was transported off the field via ambulance where doctors stabilized him for an airlift to neighboring Mayo Clinic. The doctors gave Chris a 3% chance of moving anything below his neck again. Four years later, he defied the odds and walked across stage at his college graduation with his fianceé, Emily Summers. The video went viral twice, garnered 300M+ views, and caught the eye of the country’s top media outlets (Good Morning America, TodayShow.com, NBC Nightly News, CBS, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, & more).

Chris Norton lies face down on the turf at Luther College's football stadium in a reenactment of the moment he broke his neck in 2010 during the filming of the documentary being made of his incredible story. (Photo: Special to the Register)

Chris Norton was recognized as an honorary assistant coach for Iowa City Regina in 2013.

Determined and committed to proving the doctors wrong, Chris put all of his energy into recovery. Much of his early rehabilitation was at The Mayo Clinic, where his mobility went from on the day of his injury being was numb from the neck down, to after a few days he could twitch one shoulder, then gradually able to curl his toes. Five years after the fracture, in May 2015, Norton — with the assistance of Emily Summers, his then-fiancé — walked across the Luther College stage to accept his college diploma, and over 7+ years of grinding work, Chris blew away everyone's expectations.

"The goal is always to be able to walk, but if that doesn't happen, I'm completely happy the way I am," Norton said. "I want to be a good husband and take care of these kids and work hard. Walking isn't my only focus anymore."

After graduation, Chris and Emily relocated to Detroit and then to Port St. Lucie, Florida to keep working with trainers to improve his mobility. Close to 3 years later, in April 2018, Chris made another life-changing walk. This time it was down the aisle as he wed Emily in a gorgeous ceremony in Jupiter, Florida.

In the past year, Chris & Emily have adopted five amazing girls, a 20 year old plus a sibling group of four sisters ages 9, 8, 5, & 3, and have fostered a total of 17 children. They are both deeply committed to providing a safe, loving home for children in need. In late December 2018, they were fostering a 3-year old, and were approached about fostering a group of four siblings. The only way they would be approved for the placement was to buy a bigger vehicle. So, without hesitation, they purchased a “new” used vehicle that would fit everyone.

They are truly a remarkable couple, who positively impact those around them. Their beautiful story once again captured the heart of the world, with coverage ranging from nearly all of the top-tier U.S. media outlets to media in Germany, Italy, London and more.

Chris's Impact

It is with great pride we name Chris as our 2019 Golf Tournament Honoree

Having defied incredible odds, Chris is a trailblazer for the SCI community, has such a big heart and has dedicated his life to helping others.

The married college graduate now works as a motivational speaker, sharing his story and inspiring others to never give up on their dreams.

“We all have the power to push past life’s challenges,” Norton said. Words to live by.

He started a Foundation in 2012, which raises money to buy equipment for hospitals and other rehabilitation centers for the benefit of others with spinal cord injuries. He is dedicated to helping people with spinal cord and neuromuscular disabilities live their best lives.

Chris also wrote a book with his father, Terry Norton, titled "The Power of Faith When Tragedy Strikes." It details how their Christian faith gave them strength during the accident and his recovery.

Soon Chris's journey will be on the silver screen, as there is a documentary being made telling his incredible journey.

Life can change at any second.

FWill you pledge to support individuals & families of our WWA Warriors?

Chris and his wife Emily on their wedding day in 2018.

Chris walks his bride down the aisle on his wedding day. Featured on PeopleTV and as "Hoda's Morning Boost" on The Today Show. Click here or image to watch video.

Give to Something That Matters

Help WWA Warriors like Chris by making a monthly donation.

Become a Monthly Supporter

After almost 10 years of working to change the world of spinal cord injury where every individual gets the help and support they deserve, we are genuinely touched by our supporters who believe deeply enough in our vision to give on a regular basis. Recurring contributions mean that our work continues and more individuals and families can attain the care they deserve.

We ask you to consider becoming one of those exceptional supporters by signing up for our monthly program. One of the biggest things we rely on as a non-profit is consistency so that we can continue to help people. By becoming a monthly donor you are helping us, our WWA Warriors and their families, build strength and stability.

Micki, you can count on me. I want to make a monthly donation!

Upcoming Events

For More Information Click Here.