Manage episode 367032817 series 2542864
We are joined by Eric LeGrand and Eric LeGrand Whiskey co-founder Brian Axelrod. We discuss Eric’s inspirational story about his path from Rutgers University football star to champion advocate for spinal cord injury research, his grit, positivity, and determination both on and off the field, and what led him to create a whiskey bearing his name. Jake was very inspired by Eric during his football years and during this episode and we are so thankful to Eric and Brian for joining us to tell their story for our listeners.
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Cheers,Scott and JakeBourbon Lens
ABOUT ERIC LEGRAND BOURBON:
Co-Founded by Eric LeGrand and Brian Axelrod, Eric LeGrand Bourbon is developed with choice heartland grown corn, limestone purified water, the freshest rye and barley available. Aged no less than two years in perfectly charred oak barrels, our premier whiskey boasts a warm nose and a smooth and crisp finish.
ABOUT ERIC LEGRAND:
In October 2010, Rutgers University football star, Eric LeGrand, sustained a spinal cord injury at his C3 and C4 vertebrae during a fourth quarter play at MetLife Stadium. While the initial prognosis was grim, Eric demonstrated his titan strength by shattering all expectations for his recovery and rehabilitation. Eric harnessed the national spotlight he attracted from his injury to give back to the community and inspire those living with and impacted by paralysis to bELieve. Team LeGrand was launched in September 2013 as a fundraising arm for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Since its inception, Team LeGrand has raised well over two million dollars for the Reeve Foundation. During his time as a participant of the Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network, he took part in a rigorous rehabilitation regime, including locomotor training, to re-teach his body how to walk and improve his quality of life. Eric has since regained movement in his shoulders and improvements to his overall health. From becoming an author, sports analyst for ESPN, Sirius, the Big Ten Network and Rutgers radio, to a much sought after motivational speaker, Eric has given a voice to the paralysis community to mobilize support for critical initiatives, policies and cutting-edge research. He has been recognized and received awards by Sports Illustrated, ESPY Awards, and the WWE Hall Of Fame. He also realized his NFL dream when his college coach and then Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, Greg Schiano, signed him to a professional contract in 2012. In May 2014, Eric graduated from Rutgers University where he was an honored speaker at the commencement ceremony. Since his injury, Eric has shown the world that obstacles can be transformed into opportunities, and he will continue to drive his mission forward until he delivers on Christopher Reeve’s dream of a world with empty wheelchairs. To Eric, it is not a matter of if he walks again, but rather when. Additionally, he has extended his versatility by becoming a savvy entrepreneur. In 2019, he created his own clothing brand, Shop Fifty Two and in 2021, launched his own coffee brand, LeGrand Coffee House. In 2022, he co-founded a Rutgers collective entitled Knight Society with former Rutgers basketball player Geo Baker. Most recently, Eric has further extended his business portfolio by co-founding Eric LeGrand Bourbon.
ABOUT BRIAN AXELROD:
Brian Axelrod is a fixture of the U.S wines & spirits industry, with more than 20 years working on the distribution and commercial side of some the most iconic spirits labels in the world. A true connector of people and brands, recently Brian brought his experience and talent together to partner with Conor McGregor and his team to launch Proper No. Twelve in all types of accounts across North America. In 2021 Proper No. Twelve was purchased by Becle, owners of Jose Cuervo, in a deal worth up to US $600 million. Before partnering with Team McGregor, Brian worked on D’USSE Cognac as the Brand Director and Commercial Director for Champagne Armand de Brignac for over 6 years alongside Jay-Z and Desire Perez.
ABOUT THE CHRISTOPHER & DANA REEVE FOUNDATION:
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis. By uniting the brightest minds in the field, we are working tirelessly to accelerate scientific discoveries across the field of spinal cord research by investing in labs across the globe. Additionally, through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living, the Reeve Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC) promotes the health, well-being, and independence of people living with paralysis, providing comprehensive information, resources, and referral services assisting over 100,000 individuals and families since its launch in 2002. The Reeve Foundation is committed to elevating our community’s voices and needs to achieve greater representation and independence. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. For more information, please visit www.christopherreeve.org or call 800-225-0292.
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