Chase Friedman is giving Rocky a run for his money.
After a New Year’s Eve Party in 2021, the 26 year old suffered a serious spinal cord injury after a freak accident. While going to brush his teeth the morning after the party, he slipped, crashed head first into the bathroom sink, and lost all feeling below his shoulders.
“It was terrifying, but there was a lot of uncertainty as well,” said Chase. “So I clung on to that. The doctors said they didn’t know if I’d walk again, but to me it meant they didn’t know I couldn’t.”
An MRI scan confirmed the severity of his injury and the former talent manager from Los Angeles, California was told he would spend the rest of his days in a wheelchair. But Chase was determined to beat the odds and set several goals for himself, one of which was to climb the stairs made famous by the movie “Rocky” at the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“I stayed incredibly positive, and felt lucky to be alive,” Chase said. “I wanted to get my body to be the best it could possibly be.”
After two weeks, he transitioned to a rigorous rehabilitation for his spinal cord injuries. There, he spent four months in intensive physiotherapy. During this time, he also underwent an eight-hour spinal fusion surgery which involved putting 10 screws into his neck in an effort to stabilize his back.
In other words, Chase’s road to recovery has been a long an difficult one. But now, he’s finally able to walk “like normal” and even hopes to run a 5k race someday.
Although he hasn’t run a 5k just yet, he has a different accomplishment under his belt: reaching the top of the infamous “Rocky” stairs, just like he said he would. As if that wasn’t a great enough accomplishment, Stallone himself had words of encouragement for Chase.
“This young man’s spirit is incredible!” Stallone posted. “This is a real life Rocky… keep punching and running!”
Needless to say, Chase couldn’t have been happier with the results of his efforts!
“Because no one believed I could, except for me,” shared Chase. “Sylvester Stallone even called me a real-life Rocky on his Instagram.”
Chase never stopped fighting and kept pushing forward. He now walks about seven miles a day and is enjoying life unassisted. More than anything, though, he is grateful that he never gave up and stayed committed to healing and reaching his goals. His story has inspired others and he is happy to know that sharing his story is making a difference.
“This journey has been incredibly difficult,” said Chase. “but I know my story has reached a lot of people and I feel grateful that I have been able to help many people in similar situations.”
Share Chase’s story to help inspire others to never give up.
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