Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is a charitable organization headquartered in Short Hills, New Jersey and dedicated to finding treatments and cures for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders. It also works to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities.

In 2002, Christopher Reeve said, “Nothing of any consequence happens unless people get behind an idea. It begins with an individual and they share the idea with more individuals…and eventually it becomes a movement.”

The Reeve Foundation was started in 1982 as a community response to a crisis that has grown into a national movement. The early pioneers who started this Foundation (originally named American Paralysis Foundation) began this work at a time when spinal cord research was considered the graveyard of neurobiology. Christopher Reeve’s injury in 1995, he became quadriplegic as a results of a horse riding accident, changed the field forever and made this one of the most promising fields in research. Dana Reeve was universally known as the model for care giving, and her legacy includes the creation of the Quality of Life program, which not only includes a grants program that has awarded over $10 million to organizations that help people living with paralysis in the here and now; but also includes our Paralysis Resource Center that has reached tens of thousands of those living with paralysis and their families with useful, often life-saving and life-changing information.

Reeve sought out the help of the APF and lent them his name and funding and eventually turned it into the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation and then the Christopher Reeve Foundation.
As of early 2006, the Foundation has awarded more than $64 million (USD) in research grants and more than $8 million in quality-of-life grants.

After Reeve's death in October 2004, his widow, Dana Reeve, assumed the role of Chair of the Foundation. Dana Reeve herself died 17 months later, in March 2006, of lung cancer after which Peter D. Kiernan, III became Chair.

On March 11, 2007, the Foundation announced that it changed its name to Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation on the first anniversary of Dana Reeve's death. The change, according to a news release by the Foundation, was to reflect the "partnership, courage and compassion of the Reeves."Peter T. Wilderotter, formerly the Vice President of Development was named the President in March 2007.[1] In the spring of 2010 The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, partnered with the Life Rolls On foundation.

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