When Chris Norton was 18, he suffered a spinal cord injury playing football at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and doctors told him he had only a 3 percent chance of ever moving again. He defied all odds by learning to regain the strength in his body and walking across the stage at his graduation—and eventually down the aisle with his wife, Emily. Together, they are the parents of five (and counting) adopted children and have fostered more than 18 kids. His inspiring journey of resilience and fatherhood is captured in a new
documentary, 7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story.
“Ever since my injury, I have felt that I’m called to use my adversity and example to inspire others,” shares Norton, now 29. “It’s given my pain a purpose, which has helped me find peace and contentment being a quadriplegic. To hear and read the positive reviews is extremely encouraging to me to keep sharing my story because it’s making a difference.” A former Treasure Coast resident—he used to train at Barwis Methods Training Center in Port St. Lucie—Norton and his ever-growing family have since moved to Wellington to be closer to relatives and the airport since he’s constantly traveling for speaking engagements. While he relishes the time he spends encouraging others to choose faith over fear and to focus on their blessings instead of losses, his pride and joy is his family. “Adoption and fostering are the greatest things we have ever done and been a part of in our lives,” says Norton. “Being present and loving is the best gift you can give a child.” The documentary is available now on Apple TV, Amazon Prime, and Netflix.