I went from being an elite athlete to a vegetable to now being back to somewhat average. Every day I wake up smiling and enjoying life -- Dan Bishop
It's easy for most of us to belive they have everything planned, perhaps its even a bit easier for scholarship Athletes to believe it than the average gu yon the street. But none of us, not one, really knows where we will be in five years. The best that a person can hope for is that no matter what life throws at them they will fight back.
Few have done more to prove the fight is worth it than Buffalo Wrestler Dan Bishop. Bishop, a New York native had found success on the matt and had mapped out his life after school. Then, during the 2010 MAC wrestling championships, the senior fractured his C5 and C6 vertebrae and damaged a major artery, leaving him with no feeling throughout his body.
It took emergency surgery to save his life and his prospects of ever walking again were questionable. But Tte successful surgery fused the two vertebrae back together and his limbs regained feeling soon after.
From that point on Bishop's focus on his rehab, and his success was inspiring. It was that focus that helped him achieve his goal of picking up his diploma on his own two feet just months after his injury.
He could have walked right into that Wall Street job he had been preparing for. But during his recovery he found a new purpose.
"This girl from Chicago wrote me a message after I graduated and told me her story. She said 'I'm 23 years old, when I was 21 I was paralyzed from the waist down and I was ready to kill myself. I read your story and I am so fired up to get back into rehab. You got me so fired up for rehab and a second chance at life,' and I cried.
It's a pretty amazing feeling and even though I've never met the girl in real life and I probably never will, just to know it is a beautiful thing." -- Dan Bishop
Bishop put aside his plans to build up portfolios and instead is helping to develop student athletes. Bishop's leadership qualities were well known within the team and now they are known throughout the UB community.
"When I was doing the rehab and my therapists were helping me out so much, and at that point I didn't know if I'd be able to walk again, or work again," Bishop said, "I didn't know if I'd be able to give back to anybody so once I was able to give back, why not give back to the people who have given so much to me?"
To see the rest of the Buick Human Highlight Reel, and even share a story of your own, go to ncaa.com/buick. This post is sponsored by Buick.