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NRL and the nation rise for injured player Alex Mckinnon

"God gives the toughest challenges to his best soldiers and that’s the way I’m taking it," said Alex McKinnon on the NRL Footy Show last night.

It's this optimistic attitude that has inspired the league community and the nation. There's no doubt that the Newcastle Knights player has had the support of Australia since suffering a spinal injury in Round 3 of the NRL season this year, which left him a quadriplegic.
As McKinnon vows to one day walk again, the league community is standing by him with Round 19 of the 2014 Telstra Premiership competition - kicking off tonight - now officially named the RiseForAlex Round.
One dollar from every game ticket sold this weekend will go to the RiseForAlex Fund, a charity set up by McKinnon’s parents to provide him with ongoing medical and financial support throughout his rehabilitation.
McKinnon last night said his 'bad days' were more like 'a bad 30 minutes' when interviewed by Channel Nine presenter, Erin Molan on the NRL Footy Show.
He also speaking of the moment he first lay on the field, unable to walk off.
"I remember the feeling, I just wanted to get off the field, I was sick of people looking at me," he said.
McKinnon said he has watched the fatal tackle, but doesn’t think he could see it again.
His focus is now solely on recovery.
"You see a lot of stories about people who get on with their lives and don't walk again. My focus is to get as much back of my movement as I can and I am slowly improving.
"When I first got diagnosed I was a C4 - all that is shoulder movement. Nothing else. No fingers, no movement in your legs, or anything like that.
"I am slowly progressing with the movement, I am a C7 now.
The NRL offered McKinnon employment for life following his devastating diagnosis.
"What rugby league has done for myself and my life is ridiculous and I wouldn't be the person I am today without it. I wouldn't have met Wayne [Bennett]. I wouldn't have met some of my best mates. I wouldn't change it for anything." The Knights will be playing Gold Coast this weekend in an expected sell-out at Hunter Stadium.
You can donate to the RiseForAlex fund by attending any NRL match this weekend or online.

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