Air date: November 10, 2011
Transcript from The Heart of Detroit episode featuring Chris Ruzzin: What do you see when you look at Chris Ruzzin? Do you see what certain cruel schoolmates used to see? Chris Ruzzin: They would say here’s the cripple…and…make fun of me…they didn’t know the real me. The real Chris Ruzzin was born with a disability so severe he was in casts at two days old, but he refuses to let it define him. But he found a way to get through grade school. Chris Ruzzin: I always had to have friends help carry me up and down the stairs Mitch Albom: And high school. Chris Ruzzin: High school was awesome. He learned to drive, got a job — then a terrible auto accident led to a bad knee, which eventually led to a fall down the stairs. Chris Ruzzin: I knew something was wrong cause I could feel a thing for my mid chest all the way down…it was like a stiff board. A major spinal injury. Most of us would have said how much more burden could one man take? Chris just kept rolling. Chris Ruzzin: My parents always taught me to never accept no while I was growing up. So he’s an activist for disability rights. He’s started a t-shirt line. He ushers at a local theater. And lately he got the acting bug… including two extras roles and a huge kick for Ruzzin. Chris Ruzzin: Beyond my wildest dreams. Never thought I would be in movies. He also got married. He met Diana on line in 2007. They hit it off. She moved to be closer to him. The following year they were hitched. Diana: He’s the best person I know…I’m really glad I looked beyond the chair. Mitch Albom: If you had to sort of sum up you general philosophy about life… what would you say? Chris Ruzzin: I’d say just bring it on, let’s just enjoy the day the best I can and go from there. Inspiring those with disabilities to think big, and those without disabilities to think differently, Chris Ruzzin is lifting the heart of Detroit.