BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - This week was one of great anticipation because LSU opened its season against Wisconsin. The week also marked the three year anniversary for former LSU cheerleader of a boat crash that left him paralyzed from the neck down. I visited him at his home on the night the SEC college football season kicked off with two games. "I'm glad LSU signed the contract with ESPN, because you can watch them anytime now, wherever you are."
On this night, Chico's home physical therapy assistant was stretching him and massaging him. Even though Chico, a quadriplegic, can't move anything from below his neck, he still feels the inner workings of his arms and legs and his back. His whole body. Alexis Stumpf says she been with Chico since the beginning. Since the accident three years ago and says, "with his legs, he can tell me where he feels pain or tightening and I can work on it."
Once a superbly tuned, muscled athlete, he cheered at LSU for four years and worked on staff until retiring just recently. When in an instant, Chico could no longer move a muscle, through sheer inner strength, he chose to never stop moving his thoughts and dreams. His once strong body clearly wasn't the only thing that gave Chico power.
Legal stuff has been a big part of the last three years, but a civil and criminal case could soon be heard in court. While that plays out, Chico has launched a motivational speaking career. He founded iinspireothers.org (I inspire others) and speaks to schools, groups and businesses. His life took a turn in a way he never imagined, but he refuses to let negative thoughts invade his mind. As he says, "my thoughts are the only thing I can control."