Director of NIDRR salutes "one of the nation's best-known and respected caregivers"
Posted: March, 2006
The following is a letter written by Steven Tingus, the Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
I wanted to take this opportunity to express our sadness about the death of Dana Reeve, chair of the Christopher Reeve Foundation (CRF) and founder of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center, who passed away on March 6 at the age of 44.
Dana, one of the nation's best-known and respected caregivers, had succeeded her late husband, actor Christopher Reeve, as chair of the CRF, which funds research into spinal-cord paralysis. Ms. Reeve established the Foundation's Quality of Life initiatives: the Quality of Life grants program and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center. Dana became an activist for spinal cord research after a horseback-riding accident paralyzed Chris in 1995. He later died on October 10, 2004. Since its inception in 1999, the Quality of Life grants program has awarded more than $8 million to support programs and projects that improve the daily lives of people living with paralysis. Dana Reeve was a constant companion and supporter of her husband during his long ordeal and his work for a cure for spinal cord injuries.
Those of us who have lost a primary caregiver to cancer or other diseases were particularly saddened upon hearing the news of Dana's passing. Let us not forget the sacrifices of those family members who give of themselves in helping us maintain our independence, even during their own battles, and let's continue our collective efforts to improve the lives of all those with disabilities in the name of Dana and countless others like her across our Nation.
All of us at NIDRR extend our deepest condolences and sympathy to Dana's family and members of the Christopher Reeve Foundation.
Steven James Tingus, M.S., C.Phil. Director, Nat'l Inst. on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Chair, Interagency Committee on Disability Research Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services U.S. Department of Education