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Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Applauds Historic Passage of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act

SHORT HILLS, N.J., March 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the national, non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures and treatments for spinal cord injuries and improving the lives of people living with paralysis, applauds the United States House of Representatives for passing the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act (CDRPA), Title IX of H.R. 146, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act. The legislation was named for the late Christopher Reeve and his wife Dana, whose courage and grace in the face of adversity, coupled with their extraordinary activism, were an inspiration to millions around the world.

The landmark legislation, which enjoyed bi-partisan support and passed in the Senate on January 15, 2009 will promote collaborative research, rehabilitation and quality of life initiatives for millions of Americans living with paralysis and spinal cord injuries.

"Today is a day of celebration for the paralysis community and we commend Congress for quickly passing this much needed legislation, which honors the spirit and legacy of Christopher and Dana Reeve," said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Reeve Foundation. "There is no better tribute to their dedicated efforts, and they would be so proud, yet humbled, to see this tremendous achievement. We look forward to the President signing this bill into law."

Wilderotter continued, "On behalf of the Reeve Foundation and millions of Americans living with paralysis, I would like to thank Congresswomen Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) as well as Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) for initially sponsoring this important health bill and for their tireless efforts." Wilderotter added, "Their extraordinary leadership and dedication was instrumental in passing this historic legislation."

"Passage of this bill today is extremely gratifying," said Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). "We honor the activism of Christopher and Dana Reeve with this bipartisan effort to better treat and, we hope, cure paralysis and other serious motor impairments. Chris and Dana used their visibility to work on behalf of families in all parts of the country who face the challenges of paralysis and impaired mobility. This legislation is part of their legacy," Baldwin said. Ms. Baldwin introduced the bill on January 8, 2009 along with co-sponsors Bono Mack, Langevin and Bilirakis.

The Reeve Foundation is especially grateful to former Congressman Michael Bilirakis (R-FL) who was the bill's original sponsor and first introduced it in 2002. Today his son Gus Bilirakis, who holds the same seat, is carrying out his father's mission and has been vital to the final passage of this landmark legislation.

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act will improve the quality of life for people living with paralysis and mobility impairments from any cause - stroke, ALS, spinal cord injuries and others. It encourages coordination of research to prevent redundancies and hasten discovery of better treatments and cures, as well as to improve the daily lives for those living with paralysis. The Act has three components that support and enhance paralysis research, rehabilitation, and quality of life programs:

  • Paralysis Research - Expands research on paralysis at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This will encourage collaborative research by connecting scientists conducting similar work to further enhance understanding and speed discovery of better treatments and cures.
  • Paralysis Rehabilitation and Care - Builds on research to enhance daily function for people with paralysis, including a Clinical Trials Network, to measure effectiveness of certain rehabilitation tactics and encouraging shared findings on paralysis to improve rehabilitation.
  • Improving Quality of Life for Persons with Paralysis and Other Physical Disabilities - Works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve the quality of life and long-term health status of persons with paralysis and other physical disabilities.

About the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

The Christopher and 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. For more information, please visit our website at or call 800-225-0292.

SOURCE The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
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