Gridiron Heroes Donates Wheelchair-Accessible Van To Texas Family

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Go smu!

Go smu!

Sep 6, 2013

DALLAS - Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Foundation fulfilled one of its Road Trip for Heroes goals this week, donating a wheelchair-accessible van to the family of Chris Sartor, a former Pine Tree High School (Longview, Texas) football player who suffered a spinal cord injury two years ago.

Road Trip for Heroes is a 2,500-mile trek across Texas to raise funds and awareness for the non-profit organization. It kicked off last week in San Antonio, where Gridiron Heroes was formed. Father and son co-founders Eddie and Chris Canales are leading the trip throughout September to five Texas high school football games in five cities, which include San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Houston and El Paso.

The goal for Road Trip is to raise a minimum of $100,000, which is being used to purchase two wheelchair-accessible vans for injured athletes and their families in Texas. Gridiron Heroes announced that $83,000 of the $100,000 goal has been raised. The donation today marks the tenth van that Gridiron Heroes has awarded in its 10-year history.

A press conference was held on Thursday at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the SMU campus to announce the van donation to the Sartor family. Since his injury during a game in 2011, the family has had to transport Chris in their personal vehicles, making travel nearly impossible. SMU Football Coach June Jones, a longtime Gridiron Heroes supporter and member of the Road Trip for Heroes Steering Committee, hosted the press conference.

"Those of us who love the game of football have an obligation to do all we can for those who experience life-changing injuries on the field," said Coach Jones, whose Foundation is a Road Trip for Heroes sponsor. "This is why I support Gridiron Heroes and their campaign Road Trip for Heroes."

"We've had a good start, but we're not there yet," said Gridiron Heroes co-founder Eddie Canales. "We're about $17,000 away from being able to purchase another van. People can help by going to"



About Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Foundation

Gridiron Heroes was formed in 2003 with a specific mission - to provide immediate and long-term resources and support to individuals sustaining catastrophic spinal cord injury in high school football. Gridiron Heroes is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in San Antonio, Texas. For more information about the foundation, its mission and resources for spinal cord injury, call (210) 849-9250, or visit

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