More Suffer Paralysis Than Previously Thought

"In the years after the accident, he just would never give up," Givens said. "And it was different from the years before [the accident], because it was not about trying to get a role in a movie. It was about his next speech. It wasn't about the next marathon or the next 60-mile bike ride. It was about breathing on his own for 10 minutes. So the parameters shifted, but he still brought the same energy to everything he did."

In March, President Obama signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, which provides funds for research and care for paralyzed people and others with disabilities. His son, Matthew Reeve, appeared at the bill's signing.

Givens, who as a child appeared in "Superman" with her father, said she believed her father would have been pleased with Obama's move.

"He would have been delighted with the leadership Obama has shown, particularly so soon," she said. "It's just given hope to an entire population of people."

"And for me, it's incredibly exciting because, when you think that [stem cell research] could one day give us the ability to reconnect gaps in the spinal column," she added.

Christopher Reeve's Stem Cell Support

Christopher Reeve, who died in 2004 of heart failure, was an advocate for stem cell research. Since his death, his children have continued the fight for research.

Dana Reeve was also an advocate until her 2006 death from lung cancer.

Since the death of Christopher and Dana Reeve, their foundation has continued its mission. The couple's only son, Will Reeve, is now a high school junior.

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