Three friends — Eric Eisner, Ralph Vogel and Sean Gjos — were playing club hockey for UCLA when the accident happened. “It was a legal hit,” Eisner recalls. “It was a really freak accident.”
The year was 1999. The accident put Sean in a wheelchair, his spinal cord injury leaving him paraplegic.
“We knew nothing about spinal cord injuries,” Eisner says. But the three friends quickly found out. That same year they launched Score (Spinal Cord Opportunities for Rehabilitation Endowment).
“The program gives grants to people who’ve had sports-related spinal cord injuries,” Eisner says, “to help people to adjust their home — to tailor their new lifestyle.” Depending on the extent of the injury, lifetime costs can reach a staggering $1.25 million.
Score also funds spinal cord research and has partnered with noted spinal cord research center the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.
The nonprofit receives donations from the family-run Eisner Foundation. “My family has always stressed the need to give back to help better our community,” Eisner says of his parents, Jane and Michael Eisner.
“Score has grown and evolved more than anybody thought it would with the aid of the Miami Project and the courage of Sean Gjos,” Eisner says. “Score grew out of passion and love for a friend.”