Men meet 15 years after paralyzing tackle

Chris Canales and Monroe Nichols meet after 15 years.JPG

Surrounded by photos spanning his 33 years - former football player Chris Canales says the healing process can take a lifetime.

15 years ago, Chris was paralyzed on a tackle playing for San Marcos Baptist Academy.

In 15 years, a lot of healing has happened.

Chris and his father Eddie founded Gridiron Heroes to help other football families effected by spinal cord injury.

They've met many people willing to help their cause and were even been honored with a CNN Heroes award.

For all the healing Chris has helped others through, there was one part of his journey still left untouched. Chris had still never met the man he tackled 15 years ago.

“What we’ve found is this type of injury affects so many people,” Canales told Max Sports from his home in Schertz, “I just wanted him to keep playing and move on.”

Monroe Nichols did go on. After high school he played in college at Tulsa, became a father and a few months ago was elected to the Oklahoma State House of Representatives. All the while, Monroe thought about Chris, Eddie and Gridiron Heroes.

Then this Thanksgiving week they decided to meet at the same spot that changed both their lives 15 years later.

What do you talk about with a person involved in an event that changed your life 15 years later? Life.

“I am so proud of him and all he’s done since the injury,” Nichols said from the field at San Marcos Academy, “It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow and it’s a time to be proud and excited. That’s how I’m going to leave here today and I thank [Chris] for that.”

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