President praises stem cell research advocate

President Barack Obama paid tribute to the late actor Christopher Reeve, who emerged as an advocate for embryonic stem cell research after he was paralyzed in a horseback riding accident.

In lifting the ban on federal funds for stem cell research, Obama said Monday the nation owes a debt of gratitude to people like Reeve, who with his wife, Dana, created a foundation dedicated to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries.

Obama recounted Christopher Reeve’s fighting spirit, efforts to regain the ability to walk and upbeat outlook.

Obama said he wished Reeve and his wife could have been at the White House Monday to witness the event.

Christopher Reeve, who was injured in 1995, died in 2004 of heart failure. Dana Reeve died of lung cancer in 2006.

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