Angels Heroes

Christopher Reeve

by Hillary of Canada

Christopher Reeve, both actor and playwright, is most famous for his role as "Superman", and his role in spinal cord injury recovery. Reeve was paralized below the neck in 1995, virtually diminishing all hope of walking again. But Reeve worked hard, eventually getting to an average 51% of normal touch sensitivity. Reeve's determination has inspired others with injuries like his own.

Christopher Reeve was born on September 24, 1952, to Franklin Reeve and Barbara Johnson. As a child, Reeve was exposed to the arts, such as acting. When his parents divorced, he was only four years old. He continued to improve in acting, eventually getting an agent at 16 years.

Reeve's character traits are as follows:

Perfectionistic: Reeve hated failing, and always wanted to improve. Many a time he would want to try something again, only because he thought his performance was "unnacceptable".

Selfless: Reeve started his campaign (Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation) to help others like him; he understood how other people felt, and acknowledged that.

Loving: Reeve's first thoughts when he was paralized in 1995 were of how he would care for his children with his paralysis. He wanted to be sure that they were in good hands.

Optomistic: Reeve saw the glass half full, and looked on the bright side. At the time of his accident, Reeve thought of his paralysis as a life-ending trauma, but years later, he looked on it as a challenge.

Curious: Reeve experimented with many different religions and faiths after his accident, including the lesser-known "Scientology". In the end, though, Reeve emerged from his training as still a non-religious man.

Christopher Reeve with his wife, Dana.
Christopher Reeve with his wife, Dana.

Reeve's greatest achievement in life, of course, was being so determined for a person with paralysis, and reaching a 51% average of touch sensitivity. His failures, though, include divorcing Gae Exton and not reaching his full potential-101% normal. Some important people in his life were: Dana Reeve, his second wife, for standing by him "in sickness and in health"; Erica Druin, his physical therapist; Dr. John McDonald, for helping him recover; and his entire team of doctors and nurses, for assisting him with disability.

In Reeve's "later years", he coped with his disability, recovering more and more every day. His family and friends helped him a lot, both spiritually and emotionally. Christopher Reeve died on October 10, 2004, of an infection. He was a great man, and will be sorely missed. In fact, he was a hero.

Page created on 12/12/2004 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 12/12/2004 12:00:00 AM

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