Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Superman returns: The historic passage of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act

I'm sure that every one of the other subscribers to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation's email newsletter list shared my joy in reading today's announcement from President and CEO Peter Wilderotter trumpeting this news. "Today we applaud the United States House of Representatives for passing the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act (CDRPA - Title XIV of H.R.146), included in the Omnibus Public Land Management Act. The legislation was named for the late Christopher Reeve and his wife Dana, whose courage and grace in the face of adversity, coupled with their extraordinary activism, were an inspiration to millions around the world. The landmark legislation, which enjoyed bi-partisan support and passed in the Senate on January 15, 2009 will promote collaborative research, rehabilitation and quality of life initiatives for millions of Americans living with paralysis and spinal cord injuries. Today is a day of celebration for the paralysis community and we commend Congress for quickly passing this much needed legislation, which honors the spirit and legacy of Christopher and Dana Reeve. There is no better tribute to their dedicated efforts, and they would be so proud, yet humbled, to see this tremendous achievement. We look forward to the President signing this bill into law. On behalf of the Reeve Foundation and millions of Americans living with paralysis, I would like to thank Congresswomen Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) as well as Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) for initially sponsoring this important health bill and for their tireless efforts.Their extraordinary leadership and dedication was instrumental in passing this historic legislation...."

Peter's letter goes on to detail the Act's three components, which aim to support and enhance paralysis research, rehabilitation, and quality of life programs. It's a day to celebrate, and honor the many amazing people behind this coming to pass, including Christopher Reeve himself.