Christopher Reeve was first introduced to movie audiences as Clark Kent in “Superman” in 1978. He followed his Superman fame by acting in many more movies, including the “Superman” sequels, and numerous theater productions. He was extremely busy in the activist arena, championing causes for the environment and the arts among others. However, in 1995, Reeve’s life changed dramatically.
The active sportsman loved riding horses and participating in jumping competitions. At an equestrian competition in May of 1995, Reeve was thrown from his horse. The injury was severe. He broke two of the vertebrae in his neck and was paralyzed from the neck down. Reeve’s prognosis was grim: he wouldn’t be able to walk again or even breathe without the help of a ventilator.
Rather than give up, Reeve became determined to beat paralysis and the spinal cord injuries. His previous fervor for many causes coalesced into one: spinal cord injuries and other nervous system disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Reeve, along with his wife Dana, set up a paralysis foundation to raise money for research and also to give support to others in similar situations. He continued to act and became a director with several movies to his credit. Reeve passed away on October 10, 2004, after suffering heart failure, but his strength will never be forgotten.