Son of Christopher Reeve to run on behalf of 1.275 million Americans living with spinal cord injury
SHORT HILLS, N.J., May 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation today announced Matthew Reeve, son of Christopher Reeve and member of the Board of Directors of the Reeve Foundation, will run the 2009 ING New York City Marathon. Running as a member of Team Reeve, Matthew was inspired to compete on behalf of the 1.275 million Americans living with spinal cord injury.
"As a first time runner, I do not underestimate the challenge that lies ahead," said Matthew Reeve. "But I am motivated to do the training, to run, and to cross that finish line by the millions of people living with spinal cord injury who struggle daily with considerable challenges."
Matthew was inspired to run the marathon after he learned about the incredible size of the spinal cord injured community in the United States. Recently, the Reeve Foundation released the results of the largest paralysis population survey ever conducted, which reported that 5.6 million Americans live with paralysis, 1.275 million of whom are paralyzed due to spinal cord injury. To honor this community, he will be wearing bib number 1275.
"We all know someone -- a brother, sister, friend, neighbor, or colleague -- living with paralysis," continued Reeve. "They are only one degree of separation from all of us. They live with a condition that affects their family life, their ability to work, and their capacity to enjoy even the most routine everyday activities that others take for granted."
Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Reeve Foundation remarked, "We are thrilled Matthew will be running the ING New York City Marathon this fall with other members of Team Reeve to raise awareness and funds for the Reeve Foundation's critical mission. Through support of ground-breaking research, education, and advocacy, the Reeve Foundation is racing toward the finish line: finding a cure for paralysis."
Wilderotter continued, "On March 9, 2009, when President Obama rescinded the ban on federally funded stem cell research, he referenced the poem that hung as a sign on the wall of Christopher Reeve's exercise room, which read, 'For everyone who thought I couldn't do it. For everyone who thought I shouldn't do it. For everyone who said I didn't have it in me. See you at the finish line.' Matthew Reeve will cross that finish line on behalf of his father and the millions of people who deserve care and cure."
"Matthew's decision to run in the ING New York City Marathon epitomizes everything this race is all about: the triumph of the human spirit against all odds," said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners and race director of the ING New York City Marathon. "The first Sunday in November is always an uplifting day, and we're thrilled to join Matthew in celebrating his first race in New York."
Sharing his father's creative spirit, working as a producer and director, Matthew plays an active role at the Reeve Foundation. In addition to serving on the Board he is also a member of the Quality of Life Committee, which funds programs across the globe that help people living with paralysis become more fully integrated members of society. In this role, he follows in the footsteps of his stepmother, Dana Reeve, by reviewing and selecting grant requests from non-profit organizations that meet the unique and numerous needs of people living with disabilities. He also serves on the Foundation's Executive Committee and co-chairs the Champions Committee, bringing together young professionals to advance the Reeve Foundation's work.
Matthew will be blogging weekly about his training regimen, which will be posted on www.ChristopherReeve.org. To support his efforts, please visit http://TeamReeveNYC09.kintera.org/SeeYouAtTheFinishLine.
About the Christopher & Dana 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. For more information or to join Team Reeve, please visit our website at www.ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-225-0292.
About The ING New York City Marathon
The premier event of New York Road Runners, the ING New York City Marathon is one of the world's great road races, drawing more than 105,000 applicants. Since the inception of the official charity program in 2006, more than 13,600 runners have raised over $49.2 million. The race attracts many world-class professional athletes, not only for the more than $500,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering spectators and 312 million worldwide television viewers. As any one of the 672,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime. For more information, visit www.ingnycmarathon.org.
|SOURCE Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation|
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