On Thursday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the host introduced Emeka Nnaka and told the audience that around 50 different people had written about him to her. For those who aren’t aware, Nnaka got paralyzed from the chest down while playing semi-pro football at the age of 21. Nnaka, who is now 30-year-old, serves as a disable people and motivational speaker.
Back in 2009, when Nnaka was a 21-year-old young man, who was playing defense for a semi-professional football team, Oklahoma Thunder. He was defending himself from his opponent when he heard the sound of a crack. He had broken his neck and was taken to the hospital where he underwent a nine-hour surgery. He also had an experience of rehab for months.
Nnaka didn’t know that DeGeneres will call him up on the stage, he thought that he was going to visit the DeGeneres’ studio, but the host of the show surprised him by calling him on stage where he opened up about his injury. He also spoke out about how he gets a “purpose again” in his life by volunteering for a local youth group and shelter.
Nnaka went on to tell DeGeneres, “It was working with kids that really, honestly turned everything around. It took the attention off of me, and I put it on other people.” He shared, “Working with these kids really showed me what life really is about. It’s not about me; it’s about we.”
Nnaka went through a hard time in his life recently. He lost his home in a fire, his caregiver and father broke his ankle, and his van was also damaged. The host of the show, DeGeneres told brave Nnaka, “That doesn’t seem fair at all.” DeGeneres then handed him a cheque of $100,000 as a part of “One Million Acts of Good” campaign.