Marc A. Buoniconti: Sharing his ‘SPIRIT’ with Others
Marc A. Buoniconti, ambassador to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, located in Fla., today will be honored with the Secretary of Labor’s 2007 SPIRIT Award. The award is given annually to an individual who has demonstrated the following qualities: strength in leadership, perseverance in unyielding commitment to achieving success, integrity, serving as a role model, independence and acting as a trailblazer. The son of All-Pro and Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti, Marc followed in his father’s footsteps. He excelled in sports, and earned a full scholarship to The Citadel. On October 26, 1985, in a play against East Tennessee State, Marc sustained a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. For Marc, “rehabilitation” meant learning to breathe without a ventilator and mastering the breath-controlled wheelchair that would provide his mobility. As he learned how to remain active in this “new” life, Marc committed his energy to raising funds for the Miami Project’s revolutionary strategy: to gather in one institution the finest minds in neuroscience and launch an all-out assault on spinal cord injury. Marc also returned to being a full-time student at the University of Miami, making the dean’s list and earning a degree in psychology. Following graduation, Marc became ambassador for the Miami Project.