Chris' story

Photo of Chris Casiez working out.

“Our greatest triumphs come from our greatest adversities.”

“To me, it’s all about living your best life, your healthiest life. It doesn’t matter what happened to you. It’s how you take what happens and turn it into an opportunity for greatness."

Chris Casiez didn’t always think that way. Early one morning on his way to work, he was involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in multiple fractures and a devastating spinal cord injury. He was unable to breathe on his own, was placed on a ventilator and remained in a medically induced coma for six weeks at Hackensack University Medical Center.

“The extent of my injuries didn’t register until I got to Kessler. That was when I lost it. I couldn’t walk or do anything for myself. How was I going to live? How could I work? I was totally overwhelmed and yes, I was scared. But my doctors, nurses, therapists were amazing. They helped me understand that my injury didn’t define me; rather it was up to me to make the life I wanted a reality."

And so he did. Chris worked tirelessly to regain his strength, skills and independence. He learned to drive again, changed careers, found financial security and lost more than 90 pounds. He has developed a keen interest in fitness and is studying to become a certified nutrition coach, hoping to work with people with disabilities.

“My injury has actually made me a better person, a more responsible person and certainly a healthier person. My goal is to keep pushing myself ... keep testing my boundaries because I know that when it comes to my future, there are no limits.”