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Christopher Reeve: Israel is at center of world research on paralysis

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    I think the Christopher was invited by his hosts in Israel.

    I have probably sat through more speeches by Christopher Reeve than any other person here over the past 8 years. I know how difficult it is to give speeches to audiences of this kind. In general, he is speaking to people who are not spinal-injured. What shines through in his speeches is his passion for research, his conviction that it will produce a cure, and his unwillingness to compromise.

    Without Christopher, we probably would be in far worse shape regarding stem cell research. He rallied people around the stem cell issue when most scientists could not speak to the human side. I am profoundly grateful to him for his leadership.

    For a small country, Israel has contributed a great deal to spinal cord injury research. Almost singlehandedly, Michal Schwartz has reversed the notion that inflammation is bad and introduced the concept that inflammation is necessary for repair and regeneration. She also took things to clinical trial. I think that it is fitting that Christopher is throwing the spotlight on Israel.



      Must I illuminate the fact that Israel is also one of the biggest causes/contributors of spinal cord injuries. I just read that during the current Palestinian uprising nearly 10,000 Palestinians have acquired spinal cord injuries from Israeli Defence Force beatings, rubber bullets, real bullets, shelling, etc. Too bad none of them have benefited from Israel's advanced SCI rehabilitation or research. They also got no attention from Christopher Reeve.



        Good point "A human face is worth a thousand phone calls."


        I completely agree. He is much better than nothing in our circumstance. That is the way of the world. Until something tragic happens to somebody in the public eye, we the non-popular people will always don monkey masks.


        Thank you for clearing that up. Agreed we'd be in a MUCH worse position than we are without him. I am grateful that we are where we are and owe some of that gratitude to him for his leadership. "Throwing the spotlight to Israel" is an excellent point I didn't think of. That is a whole new perspective that could potentially shift gears so to speak.

        "Failure is impossible"
        "Failure is impossible"


          Real-life Superman Reeve, in Israel, urges more research on paralysis
          July 29, 2003

          Christoper Reeve meets with Israeli foreign minister Silvan Shalom

          Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation

          Actor and social advocate Christopher Reeve arrived yesterday for a five-day fact-finding mission on developments in Israeli research and treatments for spinal injuries as well as a series of visits with Israeli terror victims recovering from serious injuries.

          Reeve, who achieved fame by playing "Superman" in films, sustained serious spinal injuries in an equestrian competition in 1995 and has since become a leading advocate in the search for treatments and a cure for paralysis. He said upon his arrival: "It is my great honor to be here and to have come to this wonderful part of the world. This is a very special place. There are a lot of people here who are suffering, but also a lot of people who are recovering."

          As Chairman of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF), Reeve expressed his excitement at advancements being made in Israeli medical research, including controversial embryonic stem cell research, which has been stalled in the U.S. due to the opposition of religious lobby groups. "I came in order to learn up close about progress in applied research in the scientific and medical fields in general and the treatment of spinal cord injuries specifically. Israel is one of the most advanced countries in the world in this area, and I am very encouraged by that," Reeve explained.

          "Israel is the center of some of the world's leading research related to paralysis. There are many new therapies in the pipeline as well as care strategies being employed that may also benefit millions of people around the world living with paralysis. This includes therapies derived from stem cell research," Reeve said before his departure for Israel.

          Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told Reeve last night, "I appreciate your coming here and your willingness to meet with terror victims. There is no doubt that you are a hero. Since receiving notification of your visit the Foreign Ministry has been flooded with phone calls from Israelis who want to meet with you. I hope that you will become an Israeli ambassador of goodwill and will encourage others to visit Israel."

          Reeve was the guest of honor at a dinner last night, attended by Israeli entertainment personalities, dignitaries, medical researchers, and Israelis seriously injured in terror attacks. Shalom's wife, actress Judy Shalom-Nir-Moses said, "We all left the dinner completely in love with him. He's a charming and unique man."

          The meeting inspired Israeli comedian Eli Yatzpan, who reportedly received a hearty response from Reeve when he did an impression of the actor. "This man who was my childhood hero, who flew in the skies and fought against the forces of evil, is even more impressive in his current state, as someone who is battling against a serious injury. He is a real superman," Yatzpan said.

          Reeve to meet with disabled Israeli terror victims
          Part of the impetus of the trip was a letter Reeve received from Elad Wassa, a 25-year-old immigrant from Ethiopia who was paralyzed from the chest down in a terrorist attack in Netanya last May, explaining that Reeve provided him with "hope and inspiration." The two have corresponded with each other since and finally met in person last night in Tel Aviv.

          Reeve also plans to meet with former IAF pilot Yuval Wagner, who suffered exactly the same spinal cord injuries as the actor in a flight accident. Wagner continued his air force service after his injury and currently serves as head of an organization working to advance handicapped access in public areas. "He was superman, and I was a pilot. Both of us began to live a different type of life, and we have both devoted ourselves to social action on behalf of physically challenged people like ourselves. We are both trying to prove that even in our condition it is possible to do a lot," Wagner said.

          "The visit will focus on practical applications of research, meaning helping people as quickly and safely as possible. It's important that scientists realize the sense of urgency, that every day counts for patients," Reeve stressed. Following his injury, doctors told Reeve to abandon all hope that he would lead a normal life again, but through hard work and determination he has recovered feeling and movement of several limbs.

          Reeve, who continues to encourage the disabled to fight toward their recovery, stated, "There is progress being made in research. There is hope. Scientists are making tremendous progress, not just in spinal cord cases but with all diseases and disorders. Science is advancing rapidly; there are now new therapies, exercises, and equipment. Nothing is impossible. It is important for all of us living with disabilities to try our very best to challenge ourselves to do more. No one should accept it when someone says this is the way you will be forever. The possibilities are limitless."

          [Max, please use the URL button above to enter these long addresses. They are distorting the pages and you are forcing me and the other moderators to waste a lot of time cleaning up your postings. Wise.]

          [This message was edited by Wise Young on 07-29-03 at 08:56 AM.]


            "Reeve to meet with disabled Israeli terror victims"

            I find this very one-sided.

            Palestine was sort of attacked by Israelis.
            Palestinians are in THEIR land treated alike humans of lesser value.

            If a land is attacked by invadors,
            it seems common to me,
            that counter-attacks are taking place.
            To discard these as just some terror acts, and leaving out the history behind, seems extremely one-sided to me.

            Also to just meet injured from one side.

            I do not find this one-sidedness good.


              BTW, I found calibanon's comment interesting.

              And parts of Defiler's attitudes to CR.


                The Larry King interview has been postponed until tomorrow due to the death of Bob Hope.

                "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
                It's already tomorrow in Australia!"----- Charles Schultz

                Every day I wake up is a good one


                  Hi everyone,

                  CR arrived two days ago (Monday). He had a dinner at hilton, and went to the Weizmann Institute (Michal Schwartz). He will go the several hospitals, the Israeli disabled veteran center, the Technion University in Haifa, and visit Jerusalem. He will also meet several acting students and might speak to the company NVR (also in Ness Ziona, Israel).


                    REEVE: I'LL WALK IF POLS BUTT OUT

                    July 30, 2003 -- REHOVOT, Israel - Actor Christopher Reeve told an Israeli
                    audience yesterday he thinks there is a good chance he will walk again -
                    provided "politics and religion" don't interfere with scientific research.
                    The "Superman" star, who has been paralyzed from the neck down since an
                    equestrian accident in 1995, is on a five-day visit to Israel, visiting
                    research facilities and hospitals to study advances in treatment for
                    spinal-cord injuries.

                    Speaking to journalists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in the city of
                    Rehovot, near Tel Aviv, Reeve said progress on research required
                    international collaboration, but was being slowed by disputes over
                    intellectual-property rights and widely varying rules on stem-cell research.

                    Many scientists believe stem cells from human embryos could be used to treat
                    a vast array of conditions, from spinal injury to diabetes to Parkinson's

                    Israel is a leader in the field of spinal-injury treatment and in stem-cell
                    research, which has been limited in some countries because obtaining the
                    cells involves destroying a human embryo.

                    The U.S. government has limited stem-cell research because of the embryo
                    issue, a policy Reeve has criticized.

                    "My hopes are that politics and religion will not interfere with progress
                    for a cure," Reeve said yesterday. "If those problems are overcome, I stand
                    a good chance of walking."

                    He added, "Israel is one of the leaders in the world, and I came to pay
                    tribute to the work being done here." Reeve also is meeting Israelis injured
                    in Palestinian terrorist attacks. Yesterday, he met Elad Wassa, 25, an
                    Ethiopian immigrant paralyzed from the waist down in a bombing in May 2002.

                    "Welcome to Israel - you are my hero," said Wassa, who wrote to Reeve during
                    his convalescence and shared a stage with him yesterday.

                    Post Wire Services


                    "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
                    It's already tomorrow in Australia!"----- Charles Schultz

                    Every day I wake up is a good one


                      CR went from yes i'll walk to there's a chance. great, things sound wonderful...Jay

                      Please get us out of this mess!
                      Today is one day closer to The Cure


                        The last time I took the time to review the CRPF website, I remember them stating their emphasis was on "quality of life" issues. The word cure seemed to be downplayed. Ahhh, reality rears it's ugly head!


                          CRPF Mission

                          Please look again!

                          The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF) is committed to funding research that develops treatments and cures for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and other central nervous system disorders. The Foundation also vigorously works to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities through its grants program, paralysis resource center and advocacy efforts.

                          Since 1982, CRPF has awarded $42.5 million in research grants to the world's best neuroscientists. CRPF grants are catalytic. We support new initiatives, take smart risks, and make sure our research dollars are spent to do the most good.

                          In addition, through our Quality of Life Grants program, CRPF has granted close to $2.4 million since 1999 to nonprofit organizations that help improve the daily lives of people living with paralysis, particularly spinal cord injuries.

                          "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
                          It's already tomorrow in Australia!"----- Charles Schultz

                          Every day I wake up is a good one


                            With the weird pic game here, my impressions were, the right isn't so damaged,
                            so that without any external stuff stuck in, I don't exclude right side limbs could be gotten towards more serious use.
                            (But obviously "not excluding" is not meaning "being sure".)
                            But thought, even with methods not seeming the thingie for some 50 year old, could be quite some years just for the right arm&hand towards handicapped use.
                            And with the right leg, apart from that I don't understand about such sufficiently (I mean inprogramming), it seems about suited, as various else on this side, to increase spinal sides balances differences r-l massively also in spine belly organ hight.

                            I'm still not clear how negative effects of such might be for belly organs.

                            But even just in pic games due to this cause, although I got some highly limited leg aiming options, my interests have been quite low with such.

                            Theoretically speaking, even if ignoring such, and even IF (on which I'm not sure), the right leg could be sort of programmed in somewhen,
                            would this way though not be the same as walking.
                            More just one-sided limping.


                              Christopher Reeve was interviewed live from Israel for an hour long segment on Larry King live. The interview was aired last night and might be repeated in the weekend.
                              Among the things said by CR was that Israel is very involved in the nuclear transfer technique to create matching tissue by inserting the DNA of a person in an unfertalized egg.
                              He felt our government should take the example of Israel instead of leaving researchers unsure of what actual policy towards stemcell research will allow them to proceed with.


                                Reeve hails researchers on Israel visit

                                Christopher Reeve
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                                JERUSALEM - Actor Christopher Reeve said yesterday that his optimism about recovering from a catastrophic spinal injury had been boosted by meeting disabled Israelis and the country's cutting-edge medical researchers.

                                The former "Superman" star, who has been paralyzed from the neck down since a horse-riding accident in 1995, said his encounter with a young man who'd recovered the ability to walk after undergoing pioneering surgery developed at Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science "renewed my hope and optimism."

                                He said he was encouraged by research at the Weizmann Institute into macrophages - "scavenger cells" that can help cleanse the site of an injury, allowing healing to begin. Israel also is a major center for stem-cell research, which many scientists believe could be used to treat an array of conditions but has been restricted in some countries, including the U.S., because obtaining the cells involves destroying a human embryo.

                                Reeve, who arrived in Israel on Monday for a five-day trip, yesterday visited Jerusalem's Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.