Actor Reeve Creates Paralysis Center

Thursday, October 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Christopher Reeve accepted $2 million in federal funds to establish an education resource center for people with paralysis and their families.

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center will provide educational materials, referral services, and other information aimed to improve the lives of the more than 2 million Americans with paralysis.

``One of the greatest fears that people with disabilities have is that we will be pushed to the margins of society,'' said Reeve, star of the ``Superman'' movies who has been paralyzed from the neck down since a horse-riding accident in 1995.

He thanked members of Congress for what he said was their dedication to the effort even while America is at war. ``That's a big message saying that ... the government cares about our everyday lives.''

The center will be based in Short Hills, N.J., and will include a library, Web site, and referral services.

Reeve urged some of the nation's leading neuroscientists not to let terrorism distract them from finding ways to repair spinal cord injuries and cure neurological diseases.

He addressed a meeting at the National Institutes of Health focusing on recent strides in brain research, telling a group that had spent the day on animal and elemental research that its goal should be speedy experiments in desperately ill people.

Reeve expressed fear that President Bush's recent decision allowing limited research of human embryonic stem cells would merely allow NIH-funded scientists to spend the next five years on basic research instead of pushing for therapies because of limits on those cells' usefulness.

``It's the National Institutes of Health, not the National Institutes of Research,'' he said. ``Health means recovery.''