Saturday, September 30, 2017

"Nothing Is Impossible: Reflections on a New Life" by Christopher Reeve

This biography starts off talking about when Christopher Reeve was thrown from his horse during an equestrian competition, breaking his neck and leaving him paralyzed. In the beginning, he wasn't certain that he wanted to live. His wife Dana promised him that if he still felt that way at the end of 2 years, that they would find a way for him to end his suffering. Fortunately, after those two years he no longer felt the same.

This book jumps back and forth, letting us see Christopher at different points in his life. Sometimes we are shown glimpses of him during his youth with his family, and in other sections we are shown segments of his recovery after his accident.

At one point he tells us a story of when he accepted a "free personality test" and how that led him to a short period of time with a group is scientologists. I enjoyed the tale, especially where explained how he realized it was little more than a means for them to collect large sums of money from people who were looking for a way to improve themselves and their lives.

Christopher tells us a number of quite inspirational stories from throughout his lifetime about both the good times and the troubled times he has lived through. We are told about how he feels that he became a better father after he was paralyzed than he was before. It caused him to truly listen to his children in order to be able to help them with their problems. It also allowed him to spend more quality time and become closer with each of them.

Before long he began to help with fundraising and spoke with politicians about supporting research for ways to help heal and repair injuries that left people paralyzed and/or otherwise in need of full time medical care. Such care costs a great deal, and those costs will often continue for far longer than most people would be able to afford. Christopher helped to raise lifetime limits that insurance companies granted to individuals.

Christopher Reeve did so much more than that as well. He truly was an inspiration to many and never gave up hoping and working towards someday being able to move and possibly even walk under his own power again. This book does not continue until the end of his life, but it does show that he was making much more improvement overall than any of his doctors had thought would ever be possible considering the severity and length of time that had passed since his injury.

If you wish to know how truly amazing he was, then you will want to read this book. I learned a great deal more than I had previously known about what he went through in his later years and how he managed to remain such a positive force despite having survived something that would have destroyed the spirit of many others.

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