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Paralyzed ex-football player accompanies senior to prom

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Eric LeGrand and Gianna Brunini wheel down the red carpet as they prepare to head to the Hanover Park High School prom. East Hanover, NJ 6/9/2016 (Robert Sciarrino | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

EAST HANOVER, N.J. — A New Jersey high school senior with cerebral palsy found her prom date in a former Rutgers University football player who was sidelined because of a spinal cord injury.

NJ.com reports 25-year-old Eric LeGrand accompanied Gianna Brunini to Hanover Park High School’s prom on Thursday night.

The 18-year-old Brunini has been in a wheelchair since she was diagnosed when she was 2. She befriended LeGrand when they both attended therapy sessions.

The pair bonded over therapy dogs and racing down hallways in their motorized chairs.

He gave a motivational speech at Brunini’s school last month and asked her up to stage and to the prom.

LeGrand has championed spinal cord research since suffering a paralyzing injury during a 2010 game.

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