Paralyzed Football Star Defies The Odds And Inspires Thousands | Lifebru
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Paralyzed Football Star Defies The Odds And Inspires Thousands

Chris Norton from Des Moines, Iowa was just your average football-loving kid growing. But then, one tackle changed everything.



Chris Norton from Des Moines, Iowa was just your average sports-loving kid growing. He played them all and he loved them all. But his best and favorite sport was easily football. He shined as a starter for three years on his high school’s team and his hard work paid off in the form of a full ride to Luther College. Chris’ dreams were coming true and he couldn’t wait for what the future held. But his entire world was about to be flipped upside down.

Chris saw playing time early at Luther, and during their game on October 10th, 2010, Chris went for a big hit on a kickoff. But, as Chris said later, “I mistimed my jump, just by a split second.” And when he tried to push himself back up off the ground, he couldn’t. His arms and legs weren’t working. He was left motionless on the ground. His teammates, coaches, family and everyone watching the game that day looking on in fear. Worried that the unthinkable had happened.

Chris was quickly taken to the hospital. Doctors took X-rays and administered a series of tests. Chris and his family were so scared. They didn’t know what was wrong with Chris. Then, the doctor’s delivered the terrible news. Chris had broken his C3 and C4 vertebrae. It’s quite possibly the worst spinal chord injury he could have suffered. Chris was told that there was only a 3% chance that he would ever move anything below his neck again, and his football career was over. Chris and his family were devastated.

But before his family could even process the awful news, Chris had a thought. “I’m going to prove these doctors wrong.” And he set out to do just that. He went to work with physical therapists, trying to re-teach his broken body to work again. Four hours a day, sometimes even more. “If I wasn’t sleeping, I was working,” Chris said. It’s a work ethic he learned while playing football. And after a few brutal months of excruciating efforts, Chris got a sign. He wiggled his left toe. It was all the motivation he needed to keep going.

Meanwhile, Chris wasn’t going to let this terrible accident stop him from living his life. He returned to college and his friends. But he was worried he may never find a woman that would love him. But his friends were having none of that. They encouraged him to try online dating. That’s how he met Emily. She didn’t care about his limitations or his wheelchair. She saw the real Chris and they quickly fell in love.

Now, with the love of his life by his side, Chris continued to work towards his goal of proving the doctors wrong. And sure enough, by the time Chris was set to receive his diploma from Luther College, Chris had regained some mobility. And when his name was called, with the help of Emily herself, he walked across that stage to accept his diploma. It was truly a beautiful moment that no one there will ever forget.

And Chris wasn’t done there. There was another moment coming up that Chris was determined to walk during. His and Emily’s wedding. Chris set a specific goal: to walk 7 yards down the aisle. The ceremony was a beautiful one full of family, friends, and love. And once it was done, Emily helped her new husband out of his wheelchair and, under her arm, he walked those 7 yards. Chris had done was previously considered nearly impossible.

Chris and Emily have gone on to start the Chris Norton Foundation, which helps raise money to support other people that have suffered debilitating spinal injuries. They also have fostered an incredible five children. All while inspiring thousands every day.

It’s incredible stories like Chris and Emily’s that go to show there’s nothing you can’t achieve when you truly put your mind to it. We should all be so lucky to have the determination Chris has and the love of someone like Emily to help us along the way. Congratulations to both of them and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from them soon!

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Best Charities To Donate to To Help Animals



A lot of people want to donate to charities that help take animals away from situations that hurt them. If you’re not sure which charity to donate to, Animal Charity Evaluators has your back. 

ACE is a California-based nonprofit company that releases annual lists of top recommended animal charity foundations, and they offered assistance by funding some of Future Perfect’s work for 2020.

Most of the charities featured in the list are focused on strategies that can get around factory farming by enforcing the transition to plant-based diets, or at the very least, by improving the conditions in factory farms. 

Focusing on factory farms makes the most sense because this is usually the site of suffering on a large scale. Unfortunately, death is not the only unpleasant process that happens on these farms, but a lot of the animals suffer a lot before they are killed. 

In these farms you’ll notice that pigs, calves, and hens are put into extremely small spaces where they have little to no wiggle room, and that the things they undergo are so horrific that there are ag-gag laws which are used to hide the details of the cruelty from the masses. 

ACE looks and promotes the most effective way to help animals, and have three main criteria when it comes to choosing and recommending certain organizations:

  • Charities must be able to produce greatest gains for animals
  • Charities should evaluate and improve their programs actively
  • Charities must present a demonstrated need for funding

With these three evaluating criteria in mind, ACE chose these organizations that you can donate to.

Wild Animal Initiative

This is a new entry compared to the other charities listed, and the goal of this charity is to research and advocate ways to assist free-range animals.

The Humane League

This charity runs campaigns that urge corporations to adhere to higher animal welfare rules, and also promotes grassroots legislative advocates.

The Good Food Institute

This charity focuses on the development of plant-based substitutes to meat, eggs, and dairy. They believe that developing plant-based options is an effective way to weaken animal agriculture.

Albert Schweitzer Foundation

This charity group has outreached corporations to promote the use of humanely raised products and they also offer legal services. They are also one of the first animal charity groups that prioritized corporate outreach for farmed fish.

If you are looking for the best animal charity group to donate to, you should check out ACE’s list so that you can look into the different charities and their advocacies and determine whether your values align with theirs.

Being able to donate to charities that help prevent animal suffering, and while it may not be you going to these farms to stop the horrors, supporting charities is an easy way to help. 

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How to Celebrate the Holidays Without Spreading COVID-19



The holidays have always been busy and challenging for most people, considering the winter weather, coast to coast travels for family visits, and the preparations that go into each celebration. This year, it just became more of a risk to follow through with our yearly traditions because of the ongoing COVID-19 surge. Since December 7, cases sprung to over 200,000 a day and we are far from seeing a decline in the curve.

Although it has been nine months into the pandemic, it is still a challenge for most of us to determine ways on how to get around holiday celebrations while ensuring the safety of our families and friends. 

Experts are still studying the potential correlation between the most recent Thanksgiving to the rise in coronavirus cases. Nonetheless, the fact remains that social gatherings with people whom you don’t live with are going to entail risks caused by the virus. Just because you know them personally doesn’t mean that the risk of catching or spreading the virus diminishes. That said, let us all take it upon ourselves to be responsible enough in celebrating this festive season.

While it might be tempting to take that dinner invitation to be around people you haven’t seen in months, take into consideration that COVID-19 spreads quicker than the surfacing of symptoms. Anyone may look and feel perfectly fine while attending that party, only to inadvertently be spreading the virus to everyone around them. 

Take a quick trip out of town

This year’s holidays may be a call for us to get creative in finding much safer activities to celebrate. Rather than the usual parties and group gatherings, you may want to opt for a hike, a trip to a private beach, or a simple picnic in an open area without much crowds. It will give you a much-needed change in scenery and an expanse of space away from the holiday rush.

If you are looking into traveling, the safest and most recommended means is by land, using your own vehicle. As much as possible, avoid the thick crowd of strangers in airports and public transports that make it difficult to maintain physical distancing.

Make new traditions with your kids

Kids love to play outdoors regardless of the season, but somehow, they get more excited during winter. However, it’s important to note that the cold temperature makes the virus survive longer and increases the risk of transmission. Pediatricians recommend that children stay indoors or within the vicinity of their private properties over the holidays.

This may mean a little more screen time including virtual gatherings with the rest of your family and friends. Parents can also get creative with their little ones such as involving them in baking or doing crafts to decorate their tree. Despite the circumstances, this could be a great opportunity to create new family traditions that your kids will look forward to every holiday season.

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Adaptive Leadership: Modifying Your Leadership Style in This Virtual World



Work from home arrangements were increasing prior to the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. Such arrangements became even more rampant—and increasingly necessary—as more and more countries adopted massive lockdowns and physical distancing protocols due to the on-going outbreak. Hence, experts stress the need to use adaptive leadership when dealing with day-to-day work via digital means.

Remote work can be very stressful especially because it inhibits the capacity of both leaders and employees to initiate traditional face-to-face activities. Scientists, therefore, point out that best practices must be discovered and perpetuated, given both the constraints and benefits of these WFH necessities. The virtue, they say, of adaptive leadership is the ability of managers and bosses to pinpoint and highlight the benefits of remote working rather than resist the inevitable changes dictated by these trying times.

To further comprehend the workings of the adaptive leadership framework, here are several key points for managers and bosses to bear in mind.

First, adequate communication between the leader and his subordinates is crucial. Despite the limitations of the WFH design, it is important for leaders to maintain transparent, consistent, and frequent contact. In a recent study, 47% of employees mention that they feel isolated due to being physically away from the office. It is, then, essential for a leader to maintain open communication with his team. A two-way conversation between a leader and his subordinate encourages rapport building—a significant ingredient in effective and adaptive leadership. Employees, who feel comfortable speaking with the boss, are deemed more efficient in their assigned work.

Second, adaptive leadership stipulates the need for employers to trust their employees. WFH arrangements can lead to disruptions due to intermittent internet signals and other interferences. It is essential, then, for employers to trust their employees as regards work completion and time management. Leaders must focus on output rather than micro-management, so to speak. The difficulties brought on by inevitable remote working points out the need for leaders to acclimate themselves to the constraints that are experienced by their subordinates as they grapple with deadlines.

Third, leaders must reset their expectations. Face-to-face contact is entirely different from WFH arrangements.  Permitting a subordinate to work independently must be encouraged as constant checking cannot be sustainable during remote work. Perfect work can eventually be achieved when leaders allow their subordinates a larger margin of error for some time.

Finally, creativity must be supported. Adaptive leadership calls for leaders to allow their employees to be comfortable with the remote work design. To do that, they must permit their subordinates to do their tasks with as much creativity as possible. In time, such open support for independent thinking among employees can be more beneficial for the company as employees get to feel more valuable when they get to input their own designs in the different outputs they submit. Open praise for an employee’s good work is also essential. Adaptive leadership points out the necessity for leaders to encourage their subordinates to be at ease with their work despite the unprecedented changes that arise.

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