Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier announced on Friday that his forthcoming memoir will be released on November 30, 2021. Entitled “Walking Miracle” (Grand Central Publishing), “it’s the story of how faith, positive thinking, and my passion for football brought me back from paralysis and helped me find purpose.”
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In the book, readers will see how Shazier overcame childhood alopecia, as well as scoliosis, the latter of which had the potential to keep him from realizing his dream of playing college and professional football.
After a standout career at Ohio State, Shazier went on to become a first-round draft pick of the Steelers in 2014. He had a Pro Bowl season in 2016, then another the next year, though his 2017 campaign ended prematurely when he suffered a spinal contusion during an early December game against the Cincinnati Bengals, which left him temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. Thanks to intensive rehabilitation and the highest quality medical care, Shazier can now walk unassisted. The book re-traces his journey as he vigorously pursued a return to professional football—a journey that prepared him for life after the game.
The Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation
Since retiring from football last September, Shazier has been focusing on helping other people adjust to their own life-altering challenges. Last November he launched a nonprofit organization—the Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation—which has a stated goal of “changing how people view spinal injuries.”
He has also been known visit individuals who are in the midst of trying to overcome health challenges of their own, including a relatively recent visit with an Ohio woman who became a quadruple amputee due to illness.
“I advise [people] to try to find whatever positivity they can in their situation,” Shazier told Heavy.com last September, and to not be afraid to call on any available support system.
James Conner Published ‘Fear is a Choice’ Last Spring
This will be the second year in a row that a former Steelers player has published an inspirational memoir. Last June running back James Conner released “Fear is a Choice,” in which he recounted how he came to embrace being a cancer survivor. Conner was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma while in college at the University of Pittsburgh. But he didn’t let it stop him from realizing his dream of starring in the NFL.
Conner played for the Steelers for four seasons before leaving in free agency this past spring, signing a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals that has him re-united with ex-Steelers running backs coach James Saxon.
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Ex-Steelers Wide Receiver Works Out for the Colts
In other news from Friday, former Steelers wide receiver Isaiah McKoy had a tryout with the Indianapolis Colts, this according to veteran NFL reporter Aaron Wilson.
McKoy was one of five players Pittsburgh waived during its first round of cuts. One of the other five players, offensive lineman Brandon Walton, was claimed on waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.