Chad McCrary I want to let everybody know that they should never underestimate the power of prayer. The human spirit is a powerful thing, and life is what you make it.

Saving lives and administering help during other people's emergencies was a way of life for Chad McCrary. An avid bodybuilder, he worked hard to maintain a strong physique. Proud of his work as a paramedic and with his beautiful wife, Erin, by his side, Chad enjoyed his life to the fullest.

One of his many outdoor activities was motocross racing -- not just as a spectator, but as a participant. He loved the noise, the dirt, the competition, and the sense of accomplishment after running a race well.

However, one race didn't end like the others. On a track he knew well, Chad and his bike came up short on a jump, and he was thrown 20 feet through the air. When he landed, he had no feeling below the waist. His back was broken and his spinal cord was kinked. Chad's life was changed forever.

Once out of the acute care hospital, Chad came to the CHRISTUS St. Michael Rehabilitation Hospital. For about a month, he worked several hours a day to regain the ability to walk by himself again. As a bodybuilder, he knew what it would take to build his muscles and stamina, and he was ready to do the hard work. Two months later Chad smiled as he walked to the podium without the aid of a cane or crutches at the Annual CHRISTUS St. Michael Rehabilitation Reunion. His walk was not perfect, but it was proud.

Surrounded by people who loved and admired him, Chad shared what he had learned, "I want to let everybody know that they should never underestimate the power of prayer. The human spirit is a powerful thing, and life is what you make it."