Bold Window Display Unveiled in Rockefeller Center Plaza Features Christopher Reeve’s Empty Wheelchair Symbol of Christopher’s Dream that Millions May Walk Again
Short Hills, NJ (September 3, 2013) – The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to finding cures and treatments for spinal cord injury and improving quality of life for people living with paralysis, unveiled a 115-square foot display window today at 10 Rockefeller Plaza. The window space, which was donated by EHE International, will prominently feature Christopher Reeve’s wheelchair throughout September, which is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness month, to help generate awareness of spinal cord injury and paralysis and inspire and galvanize passersby to support the Reeve Foundation’s work.
“We are proud to display the wheelchair Christopher Reeve spent the last nine years of his life in, paralyzed from the neck down after a riding accident,” said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Reeve Foundation. “Christopher always dreamed of the day he, and millions of others, might walk again.”
More than 5.6 million Americans, or one in 50 people, live with some form of paralysis. Of those, 1.275 million are living with paralysis due to a spinal cord injury.
Through their work, the Reeve Foundation hopes to educate the public about the extraordinary hope that exists in the here and now –research that is generating therapies and the programs that are improving the quality of life for so many living with paralysis today. At the same time, it’s important for the public to understand that living well with paralysis is not just about recovering the ability to walk again. Depending on the level of their injury, people living with paralysis experience the loss of not just movement and sensation, but also bowel, bladder, and sexual function; breathing; and sweating and temperature regulation, to name a few functions that can be lost. Paralysis impacts life emotionally, physically, logistically, and financially.
Today, Christopher’s dream of helping everyone living with paralysis is becoming a reality due to a groundbreaking new technique called Epidural Stimulation — the result of Reeve Foundation-funded research. Just as a body’s power can be turned off, epidural stimulation enables it to be, in a way, turned back on. Small electrical pulses reawaken nerve cells in the spinal cord, reawakening functions like bladder and bowel control, sexual function, and sweating — and substantially improving an individual’s quality of life.
The “empty wheelchair” window will be on display for the public throughout September to coincide with Spinal Cord Awareness Month, beginning Tuesday, September 3 and continuing through Monday, September 30. Appropriately, this includes the date of Christopher Reeve’s birthday on September 25. The display was created pro-bono by a talented and creative team at BBDO New York, and is intended to both increase awareness of spinal cord injury as well as to encourage onlookers to help fulfill Christopher Reeve’s dream by donating to the Reeve Foundation.
“EHE International is pleased to donate the use of this window space to the Reeve Foundation in order to raise awareness and funds for life-changing spinal cord injury research, especially during Spinal Cord Awareness Month,” said Deborah McKeever, President of EHE International.
About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. For more information, please visit our website at ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-225-0292.
About EHE International
Since 1913, EHE International has been the recognized leader in preventive medicine. Its clinical protocols are specifically designed for the early detection of preventable disease and its associated risk factors, supported by robust personal coaching and wellness tools and resources, and its industry leading educational and social engagement platforms. The company is well-known for its corporate-sponsored employee benefit and its patient-centered approach to preventive care and life-style management programs specifically designed for integration into self-funded employer-sponsored medical plans. For more information, contact EHE International, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, 4th Floor, New York, New York 10020; 212.332.3700; EHEIntl.com.