"To walk again.  That’s my New Year’s resolution for 2003. Just as it was for 2002, 2001 and every year since I suffered my spinal cord injury. I don’t want to be the only one to take those new steps this year, so I also resolve to do everything in my power to help find the cure for paralysis — and make it available to the millions of people confined to wheelchairs."
-Christopher Reeve

An On-Screen Superman A Real-Life Hero

Written by:  Alex Sandell

"Stand up for those who can't" has been the motto of the Christopher Reeve paralysis Foundation.  Since being confined to a wheelchair, after being thrown off a horse in 1995, Christopher Reeve has made the most of his life and stood up and become a champion for the disabled.  It's fitting he played Superman on screen, because in real life, Christopher Reeve was a hero.  And, like humans do with heroes, we cheered him on. 

A hero always beats the odds, and for years Christopher Reeve was living the part.  He was exercising his legs, he was keeping himself in the best shape he could, he moved his index finger on his own, all because he had hope.  He had a hope so huge, most of us will never come close to believing in the way he believed.  Christopher Reeve genuinely believed he would step out of that wheelchair. 

And although he's passed on, his hope survives.  Christopher Reeve didn't fail.  Although he never walked again, he stood taller than most of us ever will.  He was a fighter.  He was a superman.  He was my childhood hero on the big screen and a role-model throughout my adult-life.  If Christopher Reeve could keep going, then I could too.  How many felt this way?  How many carried on because Christopher gave them strength? 

Don't give up.  That's the last thing Christopher Reeve would have wanted.  He would have demanded you carry on to the point where you feel like you can't give another inch ... and then he'd ask you to give that extra mile.  He wouldn't have wanted you to give up because his body gave out.  He did his all, and he'd expect the same from you. 

Only two days ago, Presidential hopeful, John Kerry, brought Christopher Reeve up in the second Presidential Debate with George W. Bush.  Senator Kerry said, "Chris Reeve is a friend of mine. Chris Reeve exercises every single day to keep those muscles alive for the day when he believes he can walk again, and I want him to walk again."  The Senator was referring to embryonic stem-cell research.  

John Kerry isn't the only one supporting it.  Republican Nancy Reagan thinks it could save millions from her husband's fate.  Her son Ron Reagan spoke at the Democrat Convention in support of this scientific breakthrough.  If your son or daughter, mother or father could be saved, wouldn't you support this, too?  If Christopher Reeve could have walked again, wouldn't it be worth it?

Christopher Reeve swore he would stand up and walk on his own two feet, once again.  He didn't break his promise.  I refuse to believe that he failed.  The wheelchair was his Kryptonite, and Christopher Reeve has broken free.  Right now, he is in the Heavens, and he's flying.  As he soars above us, we must never forget all that he worked for.  We must never lose faith in a cure.  As is said on Chris's own website, "We must.  We can.  We will."

Supermen don't die.  They continue the fight in a different form.  Christopher Reeve, 1952 - Forever.


©copyright 2004 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].

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