Grier Strong started as a family pulling together to support one of their own. Austin Grier suffered a severe brain injury in 2014 and was treated at the Sheppard Center in Atlanta, Georgia. In order to help show their support, the family created shirts with one simple message: GRIER STRONG.

In May 2015, the need to be Grier Strong arose once more.

Nineteen-year-old Jared Grier finished his first year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and was enjoying downtime with his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, before heading home for the summer.

That afternoon, Jared’s parents received a phone call that he was at Massachusetts Memorial Hospital, and had no feeling below his neck. Jared fell from a tree and the impact compressed his spinal cord. He is now classified as a C6 quadriplegic.

Jared flew to Atlanta, Georgia where he continued to learn about this new aspect of his life and how he would be moving forward. One of his driving goals from the very beginning was to return back to WPI to finish his college education.

When the brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha and the students of WPI saw his family bring back the Grier Strong shirts, they jumped at the opportunity to rally behind the Grier family.

Initially, Grier Strong was brought back in support for Jared by his brothers at Lambda Chi Alpha and the WPI community. Now, the goals and scope of our initiative grows to an even greater scale.

Through Grier Strong, we aim to educate the community about spinal cord injuries (SCIs), and the changes and challenges they create in people’s lives. We want the community to be aware of current research related to SCI recovery. We offer the opportunity to help those like Jared through Grier Strong events at WPI as well as direct donations to a fund created in Jared's name.