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Don’t Quit: Ross Cordaro’s Story Now a Documentary

Ross Cordaro’s scrapbook is full: meeting Johnny Unitas, Joe DiMaggio. He’s got some stories, but they all start with a bad memory. “I didn...

Ross Cordaro's scrapbook is full: meeting Johnny Unitas, Joe DiMaggio. He's got some stories, but they all start with a bad memory.

"I didn't know what was happening, a 14 year old kid and I couldn't move any part of my body," Cordaro recalled.

A week shy of his 15th birthday, Valentines Day, 1974, the Dunmore-native was paralyzed in a wrestling accident during the offseason football program, but that Thanksgiving, Cordaro walked onto the field, his head coach, Jack Henzes inspiring him with a short poem.

"When you're hardest hit, you mustn't quit and I've kept that as my fight song," Cordaro said.

Now 59 years old, and nine back surgeries later, Cordaro's using that fight song to tell his story. Thanks to the nonprofit Mosaic Project, Cordaro's "don't quit" philosophy is now a documentary.

"He says 'don't quit.' That's it," Jack Coleman said. One of the film's co-writers and editor. "It doesn't get any simpler and people need that message. Don't quit. Don't give up in the face of the things we are faced with throughout life."

"I want people to know that when you're going through something, rely on God, family, friends, just like the borough of Dunmore has the signs up," Cordaro said.

22 people interviewed, three years in the making, a story now ready to be heard by anyone willing to listen.

"He was able to find victory and be an inspiration to pretty much everyone around him to this day<" Coleman said.

"I wanted to try to be an inspiration to people that have gone through injuries or personal tragedies," Cordaro added. "If I can inspire someone, that's my goal."

The film's premiere is Sunday at 3:00 PM at Peoples Security Bank Theater at Lackawanna College. That'll be the first time Cordaro sees this film. Asked about what that moment will mean to him, Cordaro said that thanksgiving when he walked was his Super Bowl. This, will be his Hall of Fame.

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