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Chris Rodriguez takes on old routine in a new way

Thursday update: Another story, about Chris’s classmates at Crocker Highlands, ran in today’s Tribune. The fifth-graders used borrowed wheelchairs last week as an exercise in empathy. Chris might return to school in the next week.

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During an interview last week, Chris Rodriguez said something that struck me as particularly insightful for an 11-year-old (although, after interviewing him and his classmates, maybe I should re-evaluate my assessment of that age group):

“People in wheelchairs can do everything that you can, just in a different way.”

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Chris was paralyzed from the waist down after a stray bullet came through the wall of his music school on Jan. 10, and he’s been trying to return to a normal routine. Continue Reading

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Chris Rodriguez gets ready to go home

chrisrodriguezwheelie21.jpgUpdate: Here is a video of Chris leaving the hospital on Tuesday.

This week, at long last, I had the chance to meet 10-year-old Chris Rodriguez, who was paralyzed in January by a stray bullet during a piano lesson. 

Chris told me about some of the things he looks forward to when he gets out of the hospital, which I mentioned in the story.

If this is any indication of how deeply people — even perfect strangers — have been touched by what happened to him, I got calls this morning from a Trader Joe’s manager, who wants to give him a case of mandarin orange chicken, and a friend of the guy who co-founded the Guitar Hero video games, who is sure his buddy will want to do something for Chris, too.

Unfortunately, the “To Help” box was omitted from the paper, leaving would-be helpers in the dark (it’s now posted online and will run in the paper tomorrow). Here it is: Continue Reading