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Christopher Reeves passes on


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(source uncited)




Nikki Finke in Los Angeles is reporting that actor Christopher Reeve is dead, according to sources close to the actor. He died suddenly Sunday. News of his death has not been reported publicly yet. His family will make an announcement Monday at the earliest. Reeve was just mentioned Friday in the second live presidential debate by John Kerry. Noting he was a friend of the paralysed Reeve, Kerry said he was in favor of further stem cell research because Reeve could walk again one day thanks to such science.... MORE...





Christopher Reeve, best known for his portrayal of Superman in the four Superman movies spanning the late ‘70s through early ‘80s died Sunday of heart failure after suffering a heart attack and lapsing into a coma on Saturday.


Reeve was 52 years old.


Reeve's wife Dana issued a statement thanking "the millions of fans around the world who have supported and loved my husband over the years."


The actor had been confined to a wheelchair since a 1995 riding accident when he was thrown from a horse and suffered many injuries, including two shattered neck vertebrae. Since his accident, Reeve was a tireless advocate for both the rights of the disabled, and increased attention on spinal cord injury research.


Following his injury, doctors gave a grim prognosis, claiming that the actor would never again have any feeling or movement below his head, and would mostly likely never again be able to breathe unassisted. In the nine years following, Reeve made tremendous gains, resulting in his doctors calling the degree of his recovery “remarkable.” His recovery and spirit, as well as his unshakable conviction that he would one day walk again gave hope to millions.


In the years following Superman, Reeve often said that he found it hard to distance himself from the role, as it was the character he was best known for. Over the years though, Reeve had come to peace with playing Superman, going so far as to appear on the WB's Smallville series, which chronicles the life of a young Clark Kent growing up in Kansas and learning to deal with his developing super powers.


Reeve's family asked that donations be made in his honor to the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, formed in 1999 to boost collaboration between experts working on treatments for spinal cord damage.


:D You know, i really believed him when he said he'd walk again one day, and i respected what he was doin to cure paralysis. Time to break out the black armband again.



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I thought it was a cruel joke someone was trying to play when I heard it in Port Jeuno.


"Superman is dead people, Christopher Reeve just died"


I shrugged it off as another childish prank, but it haunted me in my dreams, the very idea waking me up every few hours, making me want to check, but my lack of sleep made me shrug it off.


Then I get back home from a daily routine, turn on the TV, and Diane Sawyer spells it out for me. He's dead now...


Her words, "He had superhuman strength on screen, but that didn't compare to his fight in real life"


This man, this hero fought valiantly against all the narrowminded naysayers.


"It's not a matter of taking human life, it's about taking cells and saving lives"


I cry now knowing that he never got his chance to walk again.

Edited by Father
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In case none of you knew... Superman was one of my big personal heroes. I can pay talk all I want about my love for the anti-heroes, the Resevoir Dogs and Boondock Saints and Frank Castles of stage, screen, and comic; but there is a big part of me that is still six years old, crosslegged in front of the TV and watching wide-eyed the man in the blue and red suit doing right. Not avenging, not following orders, not driven by guilt... doing right. In a time when it's hard to find associations that make me proud to be American, Superman was... always there.


And in my mind, from then till now, the images are the same. Truth, Justice, and the American Way = Superman. Superman = Christopher Reeve. I don't know if playing such an iconic hero on the silver screen helped to make him the hero he himself would become, though I have a nagging feeling it was the other way around. I can't imagine, begin to fathom, how hard it must be to fall from a horse and land so much futher down than just the ground, to not be able to hold your wife's hand and tell her that you'll be all right, to see your children terrified and wondering what's wrong with Daddy. The progress he made was astounding, and for that alone would have earned my respect. The amazing strength of character in EVERY appearance, EVERY statement, EVERY donation and appeal and personal sacrifice to help those in his position in the future, is why I cried when I heard this.


I... I don't know what else to say.



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I was absolutely devastated this morning when I heard the news. I hadn't listened to the radio on the drive into work, and was informed by my co-worker, Jean, when I got into the office. I stood there in the middle of the office in total and utter shock. After all of the fighting he did for his own life and to preserve the lives of others, to pass away so suddenly and with so much left to do in this world, it just floors me. The man was a true hero, and I hope that his fight continues, and that people in his situation may one day be able to fulfill his dream.


I'm by no means a woman of by-the-Book religious influence but tonight I will pray for his family as they're grieving his loss, and lift them up to God so that they may know and be surrounded by His love and peace, and know that Christopher walks with the Angels tonight. :D

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I didn't find out till I was on break at work and the headline from the newspaper stand caught my eye. I was on the phone and I completely froze. As I knelt down to read, I couldn't believe it anymore than I could believe in little green men. I had always looked foward to seeing him walk again. I knew that if anyone could overcome this hurdle in their life, it would be him. He had the passion. He had the inner strength. He was his own SUPERMAN as much as he was a superman to everyone else. I pray he passed with as little pain as possible. God rest his soul. He will be missed. He will always be loved. May the "man of steel" walk in the heavens like he once walked (and flew) on this earth. RIP. :D

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Lots a people said things I'd want to say also, especially Gypsy.


But there's one thing you guys are all forgetting about the man: He was a phenomenal actor. I remember When I first saw clark kent on screen I couldn't believe it was actually superman in disguise no matter how much my dad tried to convince me. He put so much skill into creating that critical illusion.


And he made superman seem heroic and human and righteous and vulnerable all at the same time. No matter how cheesy the scripts got at the end (and they got plenty stupid by PT 4) he made me buy it


I think the Mark Waid said it best in his dedication to Kingdom Come , "For Christopher Reeve, who made us believe that a man could fly."

Edited by Jumbie
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As true as that is Jumbie, it's not what made him a hero. Christopher Reeves was an actor without par when it came to pulling of that pivitol element of the modern superhero mythology: the double identity. But it was his fight in real life that made him a hero.


It's like Lance Armstrong. He is inarguably on of the greatest cyclist of all time, arguably the single greatest, and depending on your criteria and perspective, one of the greatest atheletes to ever live.


But it's his overcoming cancer to go on to win the single most grueling athletic competition in the world six times in a row, bringing inspiration to people with cancer and theit families, and all the funding and awareness he's brought to cancer research, that makes him a hero.


As great as is acting was, I think it so trivial next to what made him a real hero.

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As some of yall know by now-I'm a wheeler! A member of the disabled community/CULTURE-not everybody with a disability sees it that way but I do..it's part of my identity and something I'm proud of...anyways...Christopher Reeves was a very influential person and his views were often taken to represent those of the population of people with disabilities. I admire his career and his passion for what HE worked so hard to obtain. I also see what great impact he had on so many lives..So--there are many positive things to be said about Reeves...


Many of you may not know that in the disabled community is divided on this issue. Most that I know though (and I) feel that it was saddening to see nearly ALL of Reeves focus be on WALKING. He was known to "chase cures" making a cure his ONLY focus. Not improving rights, education, career, or even equality in his own business of entertainment. It was his choice what to push for and how to apply the millions of dollars he generated with his influence. I, personally, wish he could have expanded it from the single minded goal of WALKING.

To lots of wheelers, walking is really not THAT important...I have never spent my life chasing a cure when I could just be living. It's depressing to think of all the change that could have been had he used his influence to fight for things to improve LIVING with a spinal cord injury. What if he could have researched treatment for the pressure sores (which effect MANY people with SCIs) that eventually led to infection and his death?

Reeves also chose not to cast an actress with a disability in his upcoming made for TV movie based on a true story about a girl that uses a wheelchair. Again, his personal choice, BUT as a person with a disability it would have been a very important statement for me to make to cast someone with a disability or at least try and exhaust every effort to expand the entertainment industry to include more diversity.

And last.....I have been bothered by many of Reeves statements that went out to the public like


"My children lost a father the day I was confined to a wheelchair."


Watching interviews with Reeves children, it's clear tehy are very thankful they do HAVE THEIR FATHER. I wish he would have clarified with several of his statements that it wasn't really that he could not either father or be a complete person without walking but just that he personally was struggling to put his identity back together as a person with a disability.


So.....I know it's pointless to say/think about what could have been...He is admirable and had a strong impact-much of it positve to many-but it's dangerous not to consider the other side of the coin. At least from my perspective and other people like me that are not hangin on edge waiting to walk--One of the reasons his message caught on so well is that he said what the AB (able bodied) world wants to hear-that we miss walking soo much, that we need their help, and that we'd give anything to get back "the life" of putting one foot in front of the other. (there's not much of ANYTHING I would give for it!)


So--that's my lil novel for the day!


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Alright, im gonna tread very carefully here....


Good points, Kara, but im rather curious: does the disabled community make a distinction between those born with a certain level of paralysis, and those who acquire it later in life?

i.e., if i were born without the use of my legs, i too bleieve id make this a part of my identity. But if i were Christopher Reeves, a former cherished actor with considerable funds, I could see trying to basically deny the incident by sheer force of will. Now, im not with Maddox here, but obviously Reeves' quest was a vested self-intrest, its just one i was happy to see someone pursuing, especially the stem-cell routine that appears so promising from some articles.


Myself, i was born legally blind. I dont remember seeing much of anything before an extensive procedure done when i was 4 years old. Growing up, i was told i wouldnt drive, could barely read, etc. However, aside from personal training, i happen to live in a day & age where procedures lke LASIK are available, and now, though not 20/20, i lead a somewhat normal life that i wouldntve have been able to a generation before.


But if i had been born before, idve lived life blind, and of course, idve made terms with that. However, if you took away my sight right now, itd be completely different, having lived so much with vision, you know? Given that, im just sayin, i can see why he was the way he was, and why he overlooked things you mentioned, like "pressure sores".


Still, you make some good points...lemme know what you think, Kara.

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You don't have to tread carefully-it's something that I'm totally cool with talking about....I actually toned down pretty much everything I said related to what many in the disabled groups are and have been speaking about for years...I expressed the main points but minus the harshness which is disrespectful considering his recent passing.


Yes, I and others, understand FULLY there is a huge difference between being born with your disability or acquring it. I agree that many f the responses, statements that Reeves have made and that many people with disabilities feel falsely represented us were because Reeves struggled with the change--it was a HUGE lifestyle change for him...as it is everyone who is injured. But I also have many friends that also became paralyzed later in their life like Reeves---their focus is not usually on learning to walk again and as small as it sounds..finding a remedy for presssure sores would help them life life NOW more then a cure would 50 years from now. I also do know people that are waiting and are highly interested in stem cell research (which I do think shows promise and I hope that is expanded)....So, I think I agree with you for WHY he may have chosen the avenues to support that he did and I agree that he had a HUGE change...


I guess what frustrates me is that I see others that had just as large of a change but NOT the funding he had to hire endless personal assistants, buy his own rehab equipment, bypass insurance if necessary---I see these people-most better adjusted-at least in their statements....But the rest of the world doesn't get to see them or hear from them as they did Reeves...

I know this too is because of the irony...superman in a wheelchair now...He spoke for people with disabilities on many occasions but on many of those same occasions he didn't truly represent us.

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I pretty much agree with ya there Kara (nice to meet ya :D ) Never really did see Reeves as a true quadraplegic. He had too much money. I do admire his spirit for recovery, he made great steps for research and publicity for an underrepresented community. As they say in advertising, any publicity is good publicity.


He never chose to become a representative, his goal was just to walk again. America chooses their heros when its convenient to. Superman in a wheelchair? How could it NOT happen. Just wait for the slew of superman memirobilia (forgive spelling) to hit shelves soon. Wasn't there a new superman movie in hte making? I'll bet the farm that they are rushing production like mad right about now.

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Lot of people said that he was just doing it cause it happened to him. Well, sure if he didn't have an accident, he wouldn't be doing what he's doing. The real point is that he IS making a difference. He IS making an effort. Who cares if he's rich?


So I respect this guy.

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I agree it's great that he made any effort....and his influence shouldn't be any less because he was rich---I think the point with that is that he had probably the best medical care available to anyone in his situation--money was not an issue.....There are VERY few other quads that have this luxery..many of them wish that he would have recognized this daily fight they dealt with in addition to his interest in cures and walking.


But I totally agree--any effort is better than none...however, from the disabled community's perspective, with his good, he also did some harm....



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  • 8 years later...

I know this is a weird bump. Bear with me.

At some point there was some shortcut/formatting change, and it retroactively changed all the smilies used. Now ya'll just seem ghoulishly delighted at the death of an invalid.



biggrin.gif You know, i really believed him when he said he'd walk again one day, and i respected what he was doin to cure paralysis. Time to break out the black armband again.




in spirit you could always walk to us mr. reeves...


and know that Christopher walks with the Angels tonight. biggrin.gif



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