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Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Reeve

Rocking Out For Spinal Cord Injury Research

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by Treadmarkz

The other day I was thumbing through a rack of old LPs at a kiosk on the St. Vital Mall in Winnipeg, and I found a stack of Beatles records that for some reason nobody had snatched up yet. I didn’t waste a moment in deciding to buy the LP version of “Magical Mystery Tour”, “Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl” and “Yesterday…and Today.”

As if this wasn’t enough for a Beatles fanatic like me, I found out after the fact that all proceeds from purchases made at this kiosk were to go to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. A little piece of cosmic serendipity, possibly. I wish I could say I bought the records because I wanted to make a benevolent contribution to the Reeve cause, but that is simply not true. But I am glad I bought them.

I am in a wheelchair with a spinal chord related disorder myself so I had a pretty good idea what the Reeve Foundation was about, but I looked into it a little more last night. I am not going to go into the issue of Spinal Cord Injury research too much, but regardless of your opinion on the controversial issue, what they are doing at the Reeve Foundation can only lead to some good coming to those whose lives have been changed to an indefinite degree by their injury.

Take a look at the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation by clicking HERE. I’ll be adding it to my blog roll soon.

Heroes and Victims in the Disabled Community

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by Treadmarkz

All of this talk about Brian Sterner being victimized by a physically able deputy, and my early posting regarding Christopher Reeve, got me thinking. We all know it is unhealthy to look upon someone as a hero just because they are disabled and manage to live their lives. But is it also unhealthy if we too quickly stamp the victim label on the disabled? Sure Brian Sterner had a terrible thing happen to him in this one instance, but are we missing out on the broad range of accomplishments of an entire class of people by thinking “victim” automatically. For instance, Brian Sterner is an advocate for disabled people’s rights. He has been for years. That should count for something. Advocate for rights, not just a victim whose rights were violated.

Here is a great article I found on the subject that illustrates what I mean.

Man in motion

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by Treadmarkz

When I was a kid, I loved that song “St. Elmo’s Fire” by John Parr. Not only did it have a great rhythm to it, but I always loved it when Parr sang “Gonna be your man in motion/All I need is a pair of wheels.” Eventhough I was very young (about 5 probably) these lyrics put the image in my mind of being the hero to a girl, any girl I had a schoolyard crush on. I had no idea that the song, and that line in particular, was written in honor of Rick Hansen, a Paralympian, now a spinal chord injuries activist. But it got me thinking about the idea of a man in a wheelchair being more than just a man in a wheelchair. Then, a few years later, someone, I forget who, gave me a comic book called “Man in Motion” where the superhero was disabled. His Batmobile was a wheelchair! Could this be???
I didn’t know that one day the man who played Superman, Christopher Reeve would have his physical abilities taken away in an accident. I had not been a fan of Superman (I always read Batman comics) so the accident didn’t touch me in the same way it did for others. Don’t get me wrong, I have never been able to walk so whenever I hear about someone who has walked all their lives losing that ability, it hurts me to think of it, and I can’t imagine what it would feel like inside. But I just didn’t make the same emotional association with him as people who had watched him and loved him on-screen. While Reeves became a real hero to millions after his accident, I still didn’t understand why. What had changed? He was the same guy. I did not know much about his contributions to “disabled issues” at the time. I just figured that there were people who always were active for disabled rights who deserved kudos. That was my mindset. I think I just had the attitude that I wanted to believe in myself, and not put all my hopes on a disabled Idol.

I will never ever forget the night he died. I had lost my job months before and was desperately trying to regain my confidence, and make a financial contribution to my then 5-month old marriage. I wanted to be my wife’s Man in Motion, her knight, all that. I was up that night on the Internet looking through job postings, flipping through the Yellow Pages. A point came where I just couldnt handle it anymore. It was well-past midnight and I just chucked the phone book down, and pounded my fist and swore a bit but eventually turned on the TV. When I went to bed after hearing the news, my wife woke up hearing me noisily come into the room. She knows when something is wrong. When she asked me, I began to rant about not finding a job. “And to top it off,” I said “Christopher Reeve is dead.” I had never really shared with her how I felt about Christopher Reeve but she must have known I felt something deep within me. She just put her arms around me, saying “It’s okay if you feel like crying.” I already was, but at the same time I was in disbelief that I was. It was around that time that I had this notion floating around in my head that heroes did not exist; that it was all in the mind. Then I decided if there were heroes, you don’t find them in movies, and I was right. I found out there is such a thing as a hero which is much more powerful than I had ever imagined.

Written by treadmarkz

January 10, 2008 at 1:38 AM