WASHINGTON (AP) - Actor Christopher Reeve could soon have a law named after him -- one that would provide $400 million for research into paralysis.
The legislation would pay for paralysis research, rehabilitation and quality of life programs at the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also encourages paralysis researchers to share their clinical and scientific findings with each other.
Reeve, paralyzed by a horseback riding accident in 1995, said at a news conference on Capitol Hill that such cooperation "has expedited major advances and avoided the duplication of failures."
Citing a recent operation performed in Cleveland that lets Reeve (pictured, above) breath without a respirator for more than two hours at a time, compared to only 10 minutes before, Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said the legislation named for the actor recognizes "the critical role federal funding plays."
Brown and Rep. Michael Bilirakis, R-Fla., introduced the House legislation, and Sens. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, put forth a similar bill in the Senate.