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Reeve Visited Chicago Rehab Institute Last Week

Actor: Research Can Relieve Human Suffering

CHCIAGO — Christopher Reeve made an appearance in Chicago just last week, on Oct. 8, to celebrate the Rehabilitation Institute’s 50th Anniversary.

The actor, who became an activist for the disabled after suffering a spinal cord injury in an equestrian accident, said scientists must get the funding they need to make progress, NBC5’s Mary Ann Ahern reported. Ahern said Reeve gave no indication that his health was failing at the time of his Chicago visit.

“You know, they always say about Chicago — and that probably goes for the whole state, too — is that when ordinary people make up their minds to get something done, they just go ahead and get it done,” Reeve said.

During his visit, Reeve met with several patients who have also suffered spinal cord injuries. In a rare interview, Reeve told Ahern he was busy lobbying lawmakers, looking for a payoff in funding research.

“There is so much great research that could be done here to relieve so much human suffering, that it is imperative this act pass,” Reeve said.

Molly Farrell, a suburban Chicago resident who was injured in a diving accident several years ago, met Reeve at the Rehab Institute. She is able to walk now, although many thought she would never regain the ability. Reeve called Farrell’s progress “awesome.”

“I think it’s great that he goes and speaks everywhere and gives people hope,” Farrell said.

Reeve also spoke at the Rehabilitation Institute’s benefit Tuesday night to celebrate its anniversary.

For those who care to do so, the family has requested that donations be made in Christopher Reeve’s memory to the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Cards may be sent to the family in care of the Foundation at 500 Morris Avenue, Springfield, New Jersey 07081.

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