| For Immediate Release
October 22, 2004
Yes on Proposition 71 Launches Statewide Ad Featuring
(Los Angeles, CA) — Proponents of Yes on Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, today announced the launch of a new television ad featuring Christopher Reeve that calls on voters to support the initiative.
The 30-second television ad features actor/patient advocate Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed in an equestrian competition in 1995. Mr. Reeve passed away on October 10, 2004 from heart failure. Mr. Reeve not only put a human face on spinal cord injury but he motivated neuroscientists around the world to conquer the most complex diseases of the brain and central nervous system. He founded the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, which has funded $48 million in research grants since 1982.
“Christopher Reeve strongly supported Proposition 71. His family and his foundation wanted the people of California to see this recently recorded message,” said Kathy Lewis, president and CEO for the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. “Prop 71 offers hope to millions of Americans living with debilitating and chronic conditions. We applaud California's leadership to advance this important avenue of research."
In the ad, Reeve states, “My foundation supports cutting edge research. And we are proud…proud supporters of Prop 71. Stem cells have already cured paralysis in animals. Stem cells are the future of medicine. Please support Prop 71. And, stand up for those that can’t. Thank you.”
The Yes on 71 coalition will begin airing this new television ad statewide today Friday, October 22, 2004. The spot, among others in rotation, can also be viewed on the campaign web site at www.YESon71.com.
The initiative, which will appear on California’s November 2nd statewide ballot, would authorize the issuance of $3 billion in tax-free, state general obligation bonds to provide funding for stem cell research.
Prop 71 will support stem cell research at California hospitals, medical schools and universities, to develop life-saving therapies and cures for diseases that could save the lives of millions of California children and adults. Scientists believe that stem cell research holds the promise to treat a multitude of diseases that include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, ALS and spinal cord injuries. These diseases affect 128 million Americans, including a child or adult in nearly half of all California families.
Prop 71 has drawn a broad and diverse coalition of grassroots supporters that include Nobel Prize-winning scientists and medical experts, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and more than 175 state and local elected officials, faith-based organizations, families involved in patient advocacy and efforts to cure diseases, and organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association California Council, California Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, California Medical Association, American Nurses Association of California, American Diabetes Association, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California, ALS Therapy Development Foundation, Parkinson’s Action Network, California Congress of Seniors, and the National Coalition for Cancer Research (NCCR). A complete list of endorsing organizations can be found on the campaign’s website, www.YesOn71.com.
Prop 71 was developed by a coalition of California families and medical experts determined to close the stem cell research funding gap. Currently, our state has no effective mechanism to fund stem cell research and political roadblocks have severely limited federal funding for some of the most promising types of stem cell research.
The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF) is committed to funding research that develops treatments and cures for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and other central nervous system disorders. The Foundation also vigorously works to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities through its grants program, paralysis resource center, and advocacy efforts. For more information, please call (973) 379-2690 or visit www.ChristopherReeve.org.
More information on Prop can be obtained at www.YesOn71.com.