No one is more of a true hero than Christopher Reeve.
One man, who for the last decade of his life was a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic, led an international movement to help those living with paralysis. He epitomized the words "nothing is impossible."
On May 27, 1995, Christopher Reeve was paralyzed from a spinal cord injury so severe that his first lucid thought was that possibly it would be better for everybody else if he were to die. Not only did Christopher choose to live, he chose to fight. “I felt I needed to do something,” he said, “not just for myself, but for everyone else in the same condition.”
Soon after returning home, he delved into ways he could use his name, his celebrity and his voice to urge the scientific world to work faster and harder; to help the patient community be heard and improve their quality of life; and to impact legislators to increase federal funding for spinal cord injury research.
As a result of his courage, determination, international renown, and his conviction that ‘nothing is impossible,’ Christopher made tremendous gains for the disabled community. Through his leadership, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation grew exponentially, re-shaping the world of spinal repair research.
He fought to increase research funding and attention at a federal level by appearing in front of Congress as a patient advocate. Dana Reeve established the Quality of Life Grants Program to aid organizations working to enhance the quality of life for those living through the day-to-day challenges of disability. In order to address individual quality of life needs, Christopher and Dana co-founded the Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center.
Christopher and Dana were never celebrity figureheads. They were hands-on, activist leaders, who rallied a swelling chorus of voices advocating for people living with paralysis. They recognized that the true heroes in the spinal cord injured community are those living with paralysis and their families.
These achievements represent efforts to move the Reeve Foundation mission forward -- to advance the care and discover cures for paralysis.
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