Former Cal Rugby Player Strides Toward Recovery

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A former Cal Rugby player, partially paralyzed three years ago, is making remarkable strides toward recovery. 

“Being able to touch someone’s heart, that's the biggest thing for me, is being able to inspire someone,” said Robert Paylor.

Becoming a motivational speaker wasn’t something the 23-year-old planned on until a devastating spinal cord injury during Cal’s Varsity Cup Championship rugby match three years ago.

“Someone dragged me down by the head and breaking my neck and I was laying on that turf and I couldn’t move anything below my neck,” Paylor said.

He spent a year in Colorado doing intense rehabilitation.

“It's been three years, and eight days since I got hurt,” Paylor said. “And every single one of those days I’ve been fighting.”

The senior is sharing his gift of inspiring others with his story.

This weekend he’ll be the keynote speaker at Cal’s Athletic Department Graduation.

“To have someone tell me that it changed their life that’s the most incredible feeling I could ever have,” he said.

A feeling that brings him happiness and hope that one day he will overcome the odds and walk again.

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