Past News Reports - 1997
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- April 5, 1997: Two assistants broke Christopher Reeve's left arm after lifting him "got out of sync" and dropped him as he was being transferred from his stationary bike to a chair. Reeve said, "I ended up perched on a corner of the chair, and they couldn't hold me. I fell over on my side (on the floor). It was a complete fracture, like breaking a match stick."
- April 6, 1997: A titanium rod was inserted into Christopher Reeve's bone between his shoulder and elbow during surgery to fix his broken arm. Reeve said he couldn't feel the pain of the break and only knew something was wrong when his arm began to swell. He said the fall was "just bad luck. You're bound to fall at some point."
- April 7, 1997: In The Gloaming premiered in Los Angeles and Christopher Reeve attended his big night feeling "a little feeble" after losing four pints of blood from the operation the day before. He stayed at the party until midnight. Dozens of celebrities attended including Glenn Close and David Strathairn from the film. Also attending were Reeve's wife, Dana; mother Barbara L. Johnson; and daughter Alexandra.
- April 15, 1997: Christopher Reeve was joined by his wife Dana and son Will and friends when he was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "I never thought that I'd be in this place at all." Reeve said, recalling that as an out-of-work actor in the '70s, "I'd look at these stars and think, 'That's a league I'll never be in.'" [There is a 90 minute video of this event available for purchase called A Star For Christopher Reeve produced by Jo Addie of the International Network of 'Somewhere In Time' Enthusiasts, the club that raised money for Chris's star. For more information about the video click here.]
- Christopher Reeve is making his first on-screen appearance since his near-fatal horseback accident a few years ago. He will be starring in a remake of Hitchcock's "Rear Window". He will play, ironically, a paraplegic, the same role played by James Stewart in the original 1954 version. Meanwhile, Reeve has extended his talents to directing. He recently directed HBO movie "In The Gloaming", starring Glenn Close and his own son, Will Reeve.
- Christopher Reeve was interviewed for a report that aired Thursday 15, May on CBS' "48 Hours". The show featured brief interviews with Christopher Reeve and his wife Dana as they watched film clips of Charlie Hince, a C5 quad injured in a swimming accident last summer. Like Reeve, Hince is an accomplished athlete and pianist. Reeve spoke of having regained feeling down to the base of his spine as well as in his left leg. This is important as it indicates that his injury is incomplete and leaves open the possibility of further recovery. It also allows him to feel the touches of his wife and son. In response to the Hince family's concerns about inadequate funding for continued therapy and equipment, Reeve stated that few people challenge insurance company denials and that he and his wife have had to battle with his insurance. In addition, he continues to lobby for an increase in lifetime insurance caps. The program showed film footage of Reeve receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 15. Reeve said he continues to allow himself time to cry in the mornings and experience his feelings of loss before moving forward. He deliberately sets high goals for himself so that he and others can envision more progress. Dana Reeve spoke of her husband's great ability to look into himself. Reeve told an audience of other disabled people "We're going to get out of these chairs. We are entitled to more." The show also included an interview with Dr. Wise Young, a neuroscience researcher at New York University who said "Scientists need hope. Christopher gave me hope." He added that it is only a matter of time until scientists are able to restore some function to individuals with spinal cord injuries. He reiterated Reeve's argument that even 100 million dollars in additional research funds would be cost effective as that is less than is now spent in merely maintaining injured people. The American Paralysis Association, with Reeve as its director, has seen a significant increase in donations. When Dr. Young indicated that he thought 7 years was the minimum length of time needed for a "cure" (ie. significant in function), Reeve asked that he set that as a goal. Although Christopher Reeve and Charlie Hince had not met at the time the program aired, they would both be attending the Boston University School of Medicine commencement on May 18. Reeve was one of the speakers, telling the graduates to "show us the cures". He stated that he supports a bill doubling the budget for the National Institutes of Health.
- USA TODAY reports that Reeve, who previously piloted his own plane, is experimenting with with flying using mouth controls similar to those he uses to drive his wheelchair. He would apparently do this from the co-pilot's seat.
- 21st May, 1997: Christopher Reeve and his family will be joined by old friends Robin Williams and Jane Seymour at the Paul Mitchell Puerto Rico Celebrity Sports Invitational beginning today. This is a fundraiser for the American Paralysis Association, as well as Reeve's own foundation.
- Good Morning America aired a 2 part interview with Christopher Reeve and Robin Williams on May 27 and 28. They talked about their 23 year friendship that began at Juilliard and how that relationship has deepened in the 2 years since Reeve's injury.
- June 5, 1997: Christopher Reeve's remake of the old Alfred Hitchcock thriller "Rear Window" will air as a 2 hour made for TV movie this fall. Reeve will play a man in a wheelchair who believes he has witnessed a crime outside his window. The story will be updated with high-tech equipment which allows Reeve's character to live independently.
- June 5, 1997: Christopher Reeve testified before a Senate subcommittee that the medical community is close to discovering how to regenerate damaged nerves in the spinal cord. "Nearly a quarter-million Americans live with varying degrees of incapacity due to spinal cord injuries", Reeve said. "How do we stop the economic and human cost of these diseases? The answer is research."
- June 9, 1997: Christopher Reeve will be in St. Louis on October 11th at the Gateway to a Cure benefit dinner and auction to benefit spinal cord injury research. The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and is sponsored by Saint Louis University, HealthSouth and "Pucks of Power." Proceeds from the awards dinner and auction will support spinal cord injury research at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
- June 11, 1997: "Entertainment Tonight" had a story on Chris that said he will be in an infommercial this summer with Susan Sarandon and other stars of "Circle of Friends" to raise money for spinal-cord injuries.
- July 24, 1997: "Access Hollywood" announced that Chris was nominated for an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Director for a miniseries or special" for the Home Box Office (HBO) special "In The Gloaming". The special also received four other nominations for: Glenn Close for "Best Actress in a miniseries or special"; Bridget Fonda for "Best Supporting actress in a miniseries or special"; Fred Elmes for "Cinematography in a miniseries or special"; and "In The Gloaming" for "Best Made-for-television movie."
- The August issue of Good Housekeeping has an excellent interview with Dana Reeve, in which she discusses how her life has changed since her husband's riding accident. She says she is uncomfortable being labelled "a saint", as she tries to juggle being a wife and mother and maintain her own professional career. She finds personal release in her singing and voice lessons. She is active on the advisory board of the Christopher Reeve Foundation and, while Chris is interested primarily in funding for research, Dana wants to see some of the money earmarked for advocacy for the disabled and better equipment and home care. She also talks about being saddened by the loss of physical affection because of Chris's paralysis. The magazine is now available at newstands in the U.S. and Canada.
- September 18, 1997: Christopher Reeve was a presenter at the Emmy Awards this week. He recently added a speaking valve to his ventilator which enables him to speak with more strength and with fewer pauses. "In the Gloaming", his directorial debut, was nominated for several Emmys, but did not win. However, Chris's Home Box Office (HBO) documentary "Without Pity: A Film About Abilities" won for "Outstanding Informational Special".
- September 12-14, 1997: Christopher and Dana Reeve joined Joan Irvine Smith at A Day at the Oaks International, a world class equestrian competition, to benefit the Reeve-Irvine Research Center. Fred Gage of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in LaJolla, CA was awarded the second annual Christopher Reeve Research Medal for his ground breaking research and long standing leadership and accomplishments in spinal cord injury research. In his remarks, Reeve said:
"This award is very special to me because it shows we are serious about supporting scientists who are conducting groundbreaking research in paralysis. Our government is spending about $8.7 billion a year just caring for people who are paralyzed, but we spent only $40 million on research that could actually improve the quality of our lives. It makes more sense to me to invest in research that will protect us from disease and lead to cures."
- September 23, 1997: The 19th Annual Cable Ace Awards announced their nominations and Chris was among them. He was nominated for "Directing a Dramatic Special or Series" for the Home Box Office (HBO) special "In The Gloaming". The special received five other nominations that were for: David Strathairn for "Guest Actor in a Dramatic Special or Series"; Glenn Close for "Guest Actress in a Dramatic Special or Series"; Will Scheffer for Writing a Dramatic Special"; Dave Grusin for Original Score; and "In The Gloaming" for "Dramatic or Theatrical Special".
- October 6, 1997: In an interview he did on the telephone from his home with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to promote the Gateway to a Cure benefit, Christopher Reeve said, "All across the country, researchers are collaborating as they never have before, and that is producing some very exciting results. They are working on cell transplants and gene therapy, and hopefully will be able to move fairly quickly from the rat model to humans." Reeve also said, "The most important point is that research in spinal cord injuries is out of the dark ages and into the age of enlightenment. Things that were thought impossible just five years ago have now been proven. So there is real hope for people like me, and for others who suffer from related neurological disorders such as MS, Parkinson's disease or stroke."
- October 7, 1997: To promote the GATEWAY to a Cure benefit dinner auction in St. Louis on October 11th, Christopher Reeve was interviewed on KMOX-AM 1120 radio at 4:20pm.
- October 11, 1997: At the Gateway to a Cure benefit dinner and auction, Christopher Reeve was the featured speaker. At the event Reeve received the Pucks of Power Award and accepted the Supportive Heart Award for his wife, Dana. "I've never met any of you in this room, and yet, we're not strangers," Reeve said. "I feel a bond, a closeness, that I would never have imagined before my injury. Because we're all family, it means we must never turn away from one another."
- October 15, 1997: Chris received a special award for "Courage" at the GQ Men of the Year Awards show held at Radio City Music Hall in New York and later broadcast on the VH-1 cable network. He was introduced by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, with whom he had worked to secure last year's agreement to protect the Hudson River and New York City's reservoir system, and received a standing ovation when he appeared onstage with Dana. Chris said: "I am very honored to recieve this award; but over the last 2 years, I've seen people who are disabled, who have lost their insurance, who have lost their livelihood, who can't get the equipment they need, and yet they keep going. And by comparison my life is a piece of cake. So I want to share... this award with all those people who are much more disadvantaged than me and to salute them for their courage".
- October 17, 1997: In an interview on the Today show Christopher Reeve said he had now celebrated three birthdays in a wheelchair and he spoke of the "big lie" he had been told that things would get easier as time went on. Reeve listed his numerous physical setbacks and said his experience was that life in a chair gets increasingly difficult. He said that scientists know how to go about finding a cure for spinal cord injury but need money to do the necessary experiments. He said that in business there is a saying: "Time is money" whereas in research "Money is time."
- October 18, 1997: The Christopher Reeve Foundation celebrated its first anniversary last week with a gala in New York, during which Chris presented a check for $500,000 to the American Paralysis Association. Reeve remains optimistic about a cure for spinal cord injuries. He said, "The cure will be a combination of gene therapy, cell transplants and regeneration. It's now proved all this is possible. Where we're at is the more money we raise, the quicker this will happen. It's not going to be like turning on the lights of a Christmas tree, it will be incremental...with increasing recovery of functions."
Reeve says he has cut back somewhat on his public appearances in order to complete his autobiography which is scheduled to be published in 1998.
- October 25, 1997: The American Paralysis Association is beginning to test the "Circle of Friends" TV program in various markets. The dates and times of the first broadcasts are listed as part of their web page.
- November 10, 1997: Christopher Reeve was one of the participants in the Creative Coalitions's "Seconding the First" fund raiser in New York City. The event highlighted material - literature, music, dance, journalism, broadcasting, advertising - that was censored or compromised. Among the numerous other participants were Walter Cronkite, Bette Midler, Paul Newman, Alec Baldwin and Robin Williams.
- November 13, 1997: Dana and Chris appeared live with Barbara Walters and the other hosts of the ABC daytime show, "The View". When Ms Walters asked if there had been progress in finding a cure for spinal cord injury, Chris mentioned the challenge he issued to the scientific community shortly after he was injured. He had hoped to find a cure within 7 years so that he could stand on his 50th birthday and toast everyone who had helped him. In light of this, Chris referred to e-mail that he had received just a couple of days earlier from Dr. Wise Young of NYU Medical Center, one of the world's top spinal cord injury researchers. Dr. Young said: Based on what's been happening with regeneration in the last 6 months, I can confidently tell you that we will be able to have a cure within the 7-year period that you talked about originally." Chris said that the breakthrough has been the discovery of "the antibody that knocks out the protein that prevents regeneration" and added "scientists know what to do, they just need the dollars to go ahead and do it". A clip from the fundraising infomercial "Circle of Friends" was then shown. Toward the end of their appearance, Dana sang a moving rendition of the Steven Sondheim song "Not While I'm Around".
- November 15, 1997: The National Academy of Cable Programming handed out the 19th Annual CableACE Awards in Los Angeles, CA. HBO's Christopher Reeve-directed dramatic special "In the Gloaming" became the year's most-decorated single program, converting four of its six nominations to awards. Although Chris did not win for best director, "In the Gloaming" received these awards: Will Scheffer for "Writing a Dramatic Special or Series", Dave Grusin for Original Score, Glenn Close for "Guest Actress in a Dramatic Special or Series" and "In The Gloaming" for "Dramatic or Thearetical Special".
- November 23, 1997: Nickelodeon (in the U.S.) aired the Nick News program "What Are You Staring At?" Linda Ellerbee hosted a panel discussion on physical disabilities which included Christopher Reeve and John Hockenberry. Hockenberry, who travelled extensively as a reporter for National Public Radio, is a commentator for both ABC and NBC News. He has been a paraplegic since he was 19.
- On December 2, 1997, Dana Reeve, Matt Lauer, and Al Roker will co-host "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" featuring the 65th annual lighting of the Christmas tree there. For the first time WNBC will syndicate the one-hour show which airs locally at 7 p.m. It will be shown on all 11 NBC owned stations and is cleared to run on 149 stations across the country. Performers include crooner Harry Connick, Jr., saxophonist Kenny G, skater Katarina Witt, and the Rockettes.
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