Undefeated: From Tragedy to Triumph

Undefeated: From Tragedy to Triumph


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


As seen in Parade magazine and on Fox & Friends!

Marc Buoniconti, son of an NFL Hall of Fame legend Nick Buoniconti, enjoyed an admittedly reckless lifestyle until a paralyzing football injury changed his outlook and pushed him to dedicate himself to helping others.

Hurtling into a tackle, Marc Buoniconti made contact, and then—he felt nothing. He saw an arm flop to the ground and as he struggled to breathe, he became aware whose arm it was: his.

That third-and-one play for The Citadel linebacker began as a game-changing moment but quickly turned life-changing for the son of NFL Hall of Fame legend Nick Buoniconti. On October 26, 1985, Marc was paralyzed for life from the shoulders down, injured in the same fashion as he had lived up to then: recklessly. But the same drive to push the limit in everything he’d encountered, from drugs to skipping school to never backing down from a dare, was the catalyst for Marc’s resolve to get off a ventilator, beat the odds, and turn catastrophe into a life of purpose.

His family knew he was the only one of them who could have handled such a challenge. Marc’s battle to live a full life was the genesis for nonprofit The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and The Buoniconti Fund, which to date has raised more than $450 million for research into the treatment of spinal cord and brain injuries. With renewed spirit and commitment refueled, Marc has become the face of The Miami Project. Working with Dr. Barth Green and many others, Marc has led the charge to change the lives of thousands of people who previously had no hope after suffering a similar catastrophic injury.

This is his story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682614570
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Publication date: 09/19/2017
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Born September 29, 1966, in Boston, MA, Marc Buoniconti was the youngest of three children to Terry, a nurse, and Nick, a Hall of Fame linebacker for the Miami Dolphins. Marc excelled in all sports, but particularly in football, and despite a spotty academic record he earned a full scholarship to play at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. It was there in October 1985 that Marc, then a sophomore, suffered a dislocation of the C-3, 4 vertebrae and a severe spinal cord injury that would leave him paralyzed from the shoulders down.

His rehabilitation included learning how to breathe without a ventilator and mastering the breath-controlled wheelchair that provides his only mobility. Marc earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Miami and then took on the driving purpose in his life—to help those suffering from catastrophic injury—as ambassador and now president of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and The Buoniconti Fund. He has served on numerous local, state, and federal committees dedicated to finding a cure, given hundreds of interviews and spoken at countless public appearances.

“My goal,” he says, “is to get everyone out of these wheelchairs.”

Table of Contents

Foreword Tom Brokaw ix

Introduction Stewart Rahr xii

Prologue: Third and One xiii

Part I Off the Chain

1 A Rebel in Child's Clothing 3

2 The Sweet Life 19

3 The Old School. 24

4 Fingernails on the Chalkboard 33

5 Two Wild Boys and a Girl 39

6 My Son Is Howard Roark 43

7 Christopher Columbus 47

8 Life After Football 54

9 Older and Bolder 58

10 Our Wild Child 65

11 Going Commando - 68

12 F-Troop 73

13 Swamp Man 89

14 Boys to Men 96

15 A Little Brother Grows Up 99

16 A Pain in the Neck 101

17 Whose Arm Is That Again? 105

18 The Call: College Park 108

19 The Call: New Jersey 111

20 Into the Void 114

21 The Call: Gainesville 115

22 Breathless 117

Part II Into the Deep

23 No Way Out 137

24 The Hard Part of a Simple Game 138

25 Help Me 140

26 The Promise 141

27 What's Next? 142

28 I Need to Save My Son 143

29 Emotional Triage 144

30 Lost in Space 146

31 Game Over 150

32 The Inestimable Dr. Green 156

33 Walking into the Future 159

34 Another Pain in the Neck 160

35 The Sights and Smells of Death 164

36 Thin Air 166

37 I Couldn't Move, Either 168

38 An Injured Warrior on the Battlefield 169

39 The Angel Rode a Harley 170

40 Survival Training 175

41 No Direction Home 179

42 A Band of Buddies 183

43 Everything Is Looking Up 188

44 An Angel Gets His Wings 191

Part III The Rising

45 Getting Schooled-With Girls! 199

46 The Gospel According to Bob 205

47 The Psychology of Me 210

48 An Away Game at The Citadel 212

49 I'm No Doctor 217

50 Balancing a Life on the Edge 221

51 The Buoniconti Fund 224

52 "Get Up, Stand Up" 231

53 Back in Black 234

54 Seeing the Light 239

55 A Call from the Hall 244

56 Ring Ceremony 248

57 Delayed Impact 253

58 Internal Paralysis 256

59 Welcome to My World 260

60 The Science 263

61 Say "No" to Football 270

62 Carpe Diem 274

63 A Day in the Life 277

64 Cynthia 281

65 Tick-Tock 286

66 The Power That Moves Me 292

Acknowledgements 295

Customer Reviews