I remember the day that we heard that Christopher Reeve was thrown from a horse and left a quadriplegic. It was May of 1995, and we were teenagers – we had driven to Milwaukee for an REM concert (many of us defying our parents….although I think in this case, i was okay). After the concert we crashed at my parents. I remember seeing it on the news. It was something of a “where were you when JFK was shot” type thing.
How tragic. Superman would never fly again.
After the accident, instead of turning to the dark side, which could have happened (he even told Barbara Walters that he had considered suicide), Christopher Reeve did what any real super hero would have done – he refused to let it bring him down. He vowed that he would walk again, and though that never came to pass, he made amazing progress in his fight. In 1997, he said he regained some feeling in his arms and hands, in 2000 he was able to move his index finger, in 2003, he announced that an experimental device was allowing him to draw breath on his own for the first time since his accident.
He also became an activist for spinal cord research – and truly made the cause his own. The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation – which is continuously raising money to find a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury – is only one of the many organizations that he was involved in.
Christopher Reeve died on October 10th, 2004. He will always be remembered as the hero that he was – both on and off the screen.