Chris and Emily Norton’s Walk of Love
He could have accepted his fate without challenging it. She could have ignored her gut feeling that told her he was the One.
Instead, Chris and Emily Norton have become shining examples of the power of faith and love.
Eight years ago, Chris Norton was a confident strong athlete. But in the span of one play in a football game, Chris’ life changed forever.
It was a small mistake but a costly one, as Chris misjudged the timing and leapt into a play mere seconds off time. The result was an injury instantly stealing his mobility. He was told he would probably never walk again. He was given a 97% chance of never feeling anything again from the neck down.
He could have absorbed this news with defeat or hopelessness, but Chris Norton dug deep, and fought to live his life to the fullest he was able to. He ignored the 97% and focused on the 3 %. That spirit attracted Emily Norton, who came across Chris’ profile in the online dating world.
In an interview with Fox News Emily reflects on her first impression of Chris. “If I’d have made a split second judgement that he’s in a wheelcahir and life’s going to be too hard – and if I didn’t see Chris for who he was, I would have missed out on the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Her husband beams as Emily speaks.
Chris proposed to Emily the night before college graduation. The next day, she held him close in her arms and helped him walk across the stage to receive his diploma. Then, in April 2018, Emily held her husband even tighter as they walked 7 yards down the aisle, moments after being declared man and wife. The 7 yards represented the 7 years between then and his accident. Gathered there to share the moment were roughly 200 friends and family. Six of those gathered are especially important to the newlyweds.
It takes special souls to perservere in the face of adversity. Only the truest, most enduring love will thrive in the face of challenges, and only the rarest of hearts will open even wider in that space. Chris and Emily Norton are those special souls with the rarest hearts brimming with the most enduring love. If their own lives are not proof enough, the lives of six people who gathered for their wedding are.
Chris was 23 and Emily was 22 when they officially became foster parents to 17 year old Whittley. Seeing the change in Whittley’s life, loving her as they did, was all the inspiration the couple needed to welcome five more foster children into their lives and hearts. They are now a beautiful family of eight.
Some people search their entire lives for their purpose. Some pass love by. Some give in under the weight of overwhelming trauma. Chris and Emily Norton are not “some people.” Not only have they determined their own happiness, but they’ve shared that happiness with countless others. Their large loving family could be enough for them, but they’ve extended themselves even further with their work via the Chris Norton Foundation.
With Emily by his side, Chris works to offer support and resources to others who suffer spinal chord injuries. He’s also a motivational speaker in high demand. The Nortons’ story has already inspired waves of people, and soon it will reach even more as a documentary is in the works.
Chris’ accident was tragic, yet he and Emily have managed to yank all tragedy right out of their story, and create triumph.
Together, they turned their lives into a walk of love.