Chris Culliver, the San Francisco 49ers’ ace nickel back is a star both on and off the playing field. While many of Chris’ actions on the field are well known, off the field, Chris is every bit as active in his passion for making an important impact. Chris is a young man who has already faced his own mortality and uses that as motivation to fill his day-to-day life with acts of kindness and giving.
In his sophomore year at the University of South Carolina, routine surgery to repair an injured shoulder led to a near-death experience. Chris had never undergone surgery before, and did not know that he had a genetic condition called malignant hyperthermia, which made him severely allergic to general anesthetic. On the operating table, Chris’ heart stopped beating. He was in full cardiac arrest. Attending surgeons managed to revive the then 20-year-old Chris, but his recovery was slow and uncertain as he breathed through a ventilator in the intensive care unit for the next three days. When he finally regained consciousness, Chris was surprised to see his room full of teary-eyed family and friends who had been praying for his recovery.
Since that life-changing event, Chris has made certain that his life would mean more than the final score on the scoreboard at the end of the game. Chris has dedicated his life, through the creation of his new foundation, to his two main passions: helping inner city youth and promoting the welfare of animals. Laying the groundwork for his foundation, Chris has volunteered to help promote San Rafael, California based Guide Dogs for the Blind. In addition to his foundation work, Chris, perhaps to the surprise of some, has volunteered his time with the Trevor Project, an organization involved in providing suicidal/crisis intervention services to those in the LGBT community.
The Chris Culliver Foundation will serve as a platform to advocate for the protection and rights of animals to communities around the world. The foundation will use the resources to encourage inner city communities to use animals as companions and empower youth to become better stakeholders in the community by partnering with policy issues concerning the welfare of animals.