Health: He Never Gave Up

What actor and activist Christopher Reeve taught scientists about the treatment of spinal-cord injury

In public, Christopher Reeve usually played the stoic, silently enduring the indignities of paralysis. In private, he was more candid. He had vowed, shortly after the 1995 horseback-riding injury that left him a quadriplegic, that he would walk again by his 50th birthday. That milestone came--and went--in 2002. "I'm tired of being noble," he confessed shortly afterward in a long conversation with TIME. "I try to go about this with as much dignity as I can, but not a day goes by when I don't make some effort to get out of this situation."

Dignity and effort are good words to describe how Reeve lived the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!