Christopher Reeve was an American actor best known for his motion picture portrayal of the classic DC comic book superhero Superman in 1978. On May 27, 1995, he was severely injured and left quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse during an equestrian competition in Culpeper, Virginia. He used a wheelchair and needed a portable ventilator to breathe for the rest of his life. He lobbied on behalf of people with spinal cord injuries and for human embryonic stem cell research, founding the Christopher Reeve Foundation and co-founding the Reeve-Irvine Research Center.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, approximately 1.2 million individuals currently have a spinal cord injury. In New Jersey, we estimate that there are at least 6,000 residents suffering from traumatic injuries or diseases that damage the spinal cord.
Spinal cord injuries can result from motor vehicle collisions, sport accidents, falls, and work-related injuries. These injuries can cause quadriplegia, paraplegia, and other mobility restrictions.
The State of New Jersey seeks to minimize the devastation effects of spinal cord injuries among residents through public awareness and educational campaigns. Increased focus and investments in treatments, research, advocacy and awareness are key factors in improving outcomes and the quality of life for individuals living with these injuries.
Push to Walk’s Executive Director Vivian Kiggins said, “Governor Murphy’s Proclamation recognizes the need for more research and support for individuals living with paralysis. Push to Walk is a resource to help these individuals set and achieve goals leading to more productive and fulfilling lives.”