(New York, NY -- October 11, 2004) -- Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, joins with all Americans in grieving the loss of Christopher Reeve, who even in the face of overwhelming physical disability maintained his courage of conviction and ability to act on it. We send his family our deepest condolences.
According to June Walker, National President of Hadassah, “Reeve set an example for all of us, especially those who are committed to the promise of stem cell research, a cause about which he was passionate. He was one of the leading advocates of removing federal funding restrictions on stem cell research because no one believed more than he that stem cells hold the potential for curing a range of neurological and other conditions, including spinal cord injury. As recently as this spring he worked in New Jersey to pass one of the most progressive state stem cell laws in the country. We are only sorry that he will not live to see the fruits of his labors.
“There is no more fitting tribute to his memory than for Hadassah’s 300,000 members to redouble their efforts to advocate for unfettered research on stem cells - both at the federal and state level.”
Hadassah, a national board member of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, is a staunch advocate of advancing stem cell research based on the experience of researchers at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. There, scientists and physicians continue to conduct research on some of the earliest derived stem cell lines, which have been approved for funding by the National Institutes of Health. Their research, which includes enormous strides against Parkinson’s, demonstrates that stem cells have the potential to mitigate and even cure disease.
On March 2, 2005, Hadassah members in all 50 states will lobby their state legislatures to advance embryonic stem cell research.