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June 07 2007 - New York spinal cord fund may be named for Christopher Reeve

There is movement in Albany to rename the state's spinal cord injury research fund and its research board in memory of Christopher Reeve, the actor and Pound Ridge resident who became a champion of research in the field after his own life-changing injury.

A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Adam Bradley, D-White Plains, passed the Assembly last week. The legislation would also create an income tax checkoff box for donations to the fund.

"Renaming the fund and board will honor a New York native who worked through his own tragedy to tirelessly try to find a cure for others and will also help raise funds for ongoing research," Bradley said in a press release.

Reeve, who trained at Juilliard in New York City and starred as Clark Kent in the popular "Superman" movies, became paralyzed from the neck down following a May 1995 horseback riding accident in Virginia. Before his death in October 2004, Reeve and his wife, Dana, were leading advocates for stem cell research. Dana, who grew up in Scarsdale, carried on that mission until she died of lung cancer in March 2006 at the age of 44.

The current state fund was established in 1998 to help fund medical research for spinal cord injury treatments and cures. Initially, private donations helped support the fund, which now depends on an annual allocation in the state budget from traffic infraction surcharges.
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