Editor's note: Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year continues through December 7 at CNNHeroes.com. The winner will be announced at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," which airs December 11, live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
(CNN) – Eddie Canales' nonprofit, Gridiron Heroes, provides emotional and financial support to high school football players who've sustained life-changing spinal cord injuries.
Canales' son Chris was paralyzed during a high school football game in 2001. But it was a year later when the two came up with the idea to help other kids and their families.
Eddie and Chris were watching a high school football game from the stands when they saw another player suffer a spinal cord injury. They reached out to the injured player and his family, and within months, Gridiron Heroes was born.
CNN asked Canales for his thoughts on being chosen as one of thetop 10 CNN Heroes of 2011.
CNN: Where you were when you got the call that you'd been selected as a top 10 CNN Hero?
Eddie Canales: I was sitting at the dining room table, going over information about an event we hosted the weekend before.
I was so excited! I was listening to the other details, thinking to myself, "This is what Gridiron Heroes needs: creating awareness on a big picture."
Filed under: CNN Heroes
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with