S. Georgians saddened by death of Reeve - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

S. Georgians saddened by death of Reeve

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October 11, 2004

Albany- Many South Georgians will never forget the day Christopher Reeve spent in Albany when he helped dedicate the opening of the House of Hope.

"We were just incredibly saddened to learn of his death. He's been an inspiration to so many people," says Beth English of Easter Seal.

In addition to being inspired by his visit back in 1999, South Georgians with continue to share a special connection to the late actor.

"Just about a week ago we were notified that we received a $25,000 grant from his foundation, and it is to do disability planning and development in one of our rural counties," English explains.

"My thoughts go out to his family. I can't imagine what they're going through," says James Easom.

Easom has been a quadriplegic since 1973. He says he's glad Reeve was able to use his fame to put a much needed spotlight on disability issues.

"I'm thankful that because of his status and his notoriety he was able to get out there and bring some awareness to the plights of people with disabilities," Easom says.

Reeve spent years championing medical research and science that would help people with disabilities. Easom says he only wishes Reeve could have lived long enough to put more emphasis on the many issues quadriplegics face on a daily basis.

"I wish he would have focused a little bit more on accessible, affordable housing, accessibility issues as far as being able to get in and out of businesses, and work. People with disabilities going to work etcetera," Easom says.

But, because of what he did do and his will to overcome, Reeve will hold a special place in the hearts of many South Georgians.

This is the first time Easter Seal of South Georgia has been awarded funding from the Christopher Reeve Foundation. They were the only office nationwide to receive the grant this year.

Posted at 5:10 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com