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Gridiron Heroes Foundation donates van to Trojan Football Legend Terrell Woods

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Terrell Woods 1 Terrell Woods 2 Terrell Woods 3 Terrell Woods 4

Teammates and classmates, Demetre “Rock” Jones was familiar with Terrell Woods during their days as students at Millington Central High School.
Jones would be the first to admit he only knew Woods as the football player who injured his spinal cord and was in a wheelchair. But a chance meeting at The University of Memphis allowed the two former Trojan Football players and Class of 2010 members to bond.
“I only knew him in passing while we were in high school,” Jones said. “Then in college we spoke to each other one day and it started a brotherhood. He, Jhukyruin and I grew close staying together in the same dorm.”
Through their growing friendship Jones became a study buddy, brother figure and sometimes driver for Woods. When Jones couldn’t assist his classmate, Woods’ mother Lisa Lee would transport her son around.
Woods, seeking more independence and to relieve his family and friends reached out to the Gridiron Heroes Foundation in Texas.
In a matter of months, founders Chris and Eddie Canales were presenting Woods with a fully equipped 2009 Ford Econoline Van.
“This is great for him,” Jones said. “It’s wonderful for his family as well.”
Woods’ mother and sisters Destinie and Alexis were on hand for the presentation Friday night prior to the Houston/Millington Spring Football Game at the Millington Football Stadium.
Back on Oct. 25, 2006 Woods suffered damaged to his spine from an accident after practice. Doctors informed Woods he injured his C-4 and C-5 vertebrae in his neck leaving him paraplegic.
Chris Canales and his family are familiar with the challenges of leaving with a spinal cord injury. On Nov. 2, 2001, Canales, a senior defensive back playing for San Marcos Baptist Academy, sustained a spinal cord injury during the fourth quarter of his final regular season game.
After several weeks of fighting for his life, Canales started his road to rehabilitation and  to function as a quadriplegic.
Canales injury made his family aware of the lack of support for football players who suffered spinal cord injuries in the country.  Chris’ father Eddie, other family members and former coach Mike Kipp to begin discussions about the desperate need for an organization for families who were forced to deal with the consequences of this devastating injury.
Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Foundation was formed in 2003 with a specific mission: To provide immediate, as well as, long term resources and support to individuals sustaining catastrophic spinal cord injury through activities associated with high school football.
The donation to Woods was the 12th van the organization had donated to a player and his family. Woods celebrated the moment with the Gridiron Heroes representative, his friends, family members and Trojan Football. The Trojan brotherhood was on display when Millington Head Coach Chris Michael and captains Josh Taylor and Angelo Pirtle presented Woods with a gift and the Gridiron Heroes reps with Trojan caps. With such a big turnout for the moment, Woods was overwhelmed for the support. He thanks all who have helped him reach this point and the ones who made the donation possible.
“Today is a real blessing,” Woods said. “So many people have helped me through the years. This donation is a blessing to them and me.”

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