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Paralyzed former football player walks across stage at college graduation

Corey Borner has been wheelchair bound since 2009, when he tackled another player and never got up.

A former high school football player who was paralyzed while making a tackle 12 years ago walked across the stage to accept his diploma at his college graduation Saturday.

"I WILL CONTINUE TO NEVER GIVE UP & INSPIRE THE WORLD WITH MY TESTIMONY. I WALKED AGAIN!" Corey Borner wrote on Twitter, accompanied by a clip of his odds-defying feat.

"TOUGH TIMES DON'T LAST LONG TOUGH PEOPLE DO!" he added.

Earlier last week, Borner teased a "big surprise" at his graduation from the University of North Texas at Dallas. "START MAKING ROOM for what you PRAYED for because it’s on its way!" he wrote on Twitter.

Borner has been wheelchair-bound since 2009 when he tackled another player and never got up, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported at the time.

A C5-C6 injury left him paralyzed, but he never lost his spirit and went on to become a motivational speaker.

"We all go through something. That's one thing about life. But as long as you continue to stay focused and stay positive, anything is possible,” Borner told NBC DFW.

Borner took his first steps at the Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation two months before his graduation. With the help of the institute's exoskeleton suit, he was able to receive his diploma standing up.

"It's just a dream come true. I haven't seen him take a step in 12 years,” his mother Charlotte Borner said.

"Whether he was able to even do this or not, you know, I know he's going to do something that is positive. He's going to motivate people. He's here for a reason. God kept him here for a reason,” she said.