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The Stars Are For Mr. Reeve
on 18 November 2002
"Nothing Is Impossible", is a brief but dense work that goes far beyond the physical experiences of Mr. Reeve. I admire the man as I do not believe that many people in his circumstances would have been able to fight against the odds, the accepted, "medical facts", and the stupidity of government and the insurance companies as he has. He is in the 8th year of his battles, and if Winston Churchill were alive today, I believe he would hold Mr. Reeve in the highest esteem as an example of what never giving in, no matter what the odds are, represents.
Christopher Reeve readily states that he has had access to equipment that others should have, but do not, either because of his celebrity, or because he was able to financially buy what he needed when faced with what should be criminal negligence by his insurance companies. It is not my place to suggest otherwise, but I do not believe he would have continued to garner the support of medical researchers, and the use of their equipment if he had not shown an unstoppable determination to use what they offered, and push the equipment, himself, and the inventors to the limits of what was once believed to be impregnable boundaries.
I am not using hyperbole. Christopher Reeve has taken back more control of his body than had ever been thought possible or documented. He has done so through pure determination, guts, or pig-headed stubbornness, you choose the phrase, this man will not quit. The Bunny that, "is still going", would crumple next to this guy. Even if he does not walk again, and I will not yet bet against him, when someone finally does walk, after having the same injury, they better look in his direction. He has rewritten what the medical profession "KNEW" to be fact, and now he is establishing what is possible and the medical texts are getting placed where they belong, in history's dustbin of trash.
Mr. Reeve also gives credit to a small army of people he has worked with over the last 8 years, and I believe him when he says he would not have made the progress he has made without them. But as all of us know, all the encouragement, advice, and help in the world are useless unless the target of the attention wants to achieve. And if there is a person who has a single minded maniacal desire to fight his way past his body, conventional thinking, governmental stupidity, self interest, and in my opinion negligence, it is this man. I am sure there are others, but I am commenting on this book at present.
He speaks of trying to appeal to compassion to those that occupy (MY WORDS) the largest brothel in the world, "The US Congress". Until enough of these self motivated egomaniacs break their necks and become ventilator dependent quadriplegics, I believe Mr. Reeve and those like him should expect nothing that does not benefit whomever they are seeking help from.
The author also raises issues that are easily understood as mind numbingly frustrating by people in his position. Stem Cell research is controversial, and I respect people on both sides of the issue who actually understand it. Some of those involved in passing laws forbidding the use of these cells have demonstrated beyond any doubt they are incompetent to discuss the issue much less legislate upon it. There is an alternative form of biomedical cloning that does not used cellular material that has anything to do with human life, even if life is defined as beginning at the instant of conception. This too has been killed in Congress, and again it went down to defeat after campaigns of absolute fraud directed at persons and their closely held beliefs that were exploited, not informed. Neither the issue nor Mr. Reeve's comments are anti-religious or anti-Catholic.
Former Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina will be remembered by many people, and by many labels. I think calling him a conservative from the heart of The Bible Belt is as tame a moniker as can be offered. Mr. Reeve to his delight and bewilderment found common cause when Senator Helms excluded certain animals from the same level of protection that other animals are given during medical experiments when a critical bill was passed by Congress.
I have not yet looked, by I am confident the most extreme animal rights activists will denounce the Senator and Christopher Reeve for allowing experimentation on animals. I do not believe animals should be mindlessly tortured, I do not think we have the right to inflict suffering for sport even on mice, rats, etc, but given the choice, I do place the health of people confined to wheelchairs above rodents. What concerns me more are the methods we still routinely employ as a species as Genocide continues to be implemented around the world. There are such things as priorities. If you have a pet rat, that's fine, but don't expect me to help launch a rescue operation for his cousin in a lab.
Great book, amazing man, a real role model.