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Reeve Foundation Ambassadors

Dave Annable
Dave Annable Dave Annable is quickly becoming one of Hollywood's most sought-after actors. His combination of talent and affable charm have won over both fans and critics alike.

Dave starred in the ABC series "666 Park Avenue". Best known for his role as "Justin Walker" on "Brothers and Sisters," opposite Sally Field, Calista Flockhart, Rachel Griffiths, and Matthew Rhys. Produced by "Thirtysomething" star and "Alias" producer-director Ken Olin, the drama followed the interconnected lives of the Walker family. "Brothers and Sisters" ended its 5th and final season.

Dave was seen in the New Regency romantic comedy film "What's Your Number" with Anna Farris, directed by Mark Mylod, which was released in September 2011.

Before "Brothers & Sisters", Annable was perhaps best known for his role on FOX's critically acclaimed television drama "Reunion", a complex serial mystery spanning 13 years, in which each episode revealed a yearly clue to a controversial murder.

Annable also shot the comedy film "You May Not Kiss the Bride," in which he co-stars with Katharine McPhee, Mena Suvari, Rob Schneider, Kathy Bates, Tia Carere and Vinnie Jones. He was also seen as "Bean" in director Nick Hurran's film "Little Black Book".

In 2008, Annable participated in an all-star cast benefit of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman's award winning play "You Can't Take It With You." Directed by Nora Ephron, the cast included Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Martin Short, Annette Bening and William Shatner. The one night only event benefited the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and played at the campus' Royce Hall.

An avid sports fan, Annable grew up in Walden, a small town in upstate New York, playing baseball, rugby and hockey. Annable attended college at SUNY Plattsburgh, where he was a member of PSTV (Plattsburgh State Television). Annable studied acting at the famed Neighborhood Playhouse in NY with Richard Pinter.

Philanthropically, Annable has been a supporter of Project A.L.S., and is an Ambassador for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, and for Stand Up2 Cancer. Dave also is involved with The Art of Elysium, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, The USO, and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Dave and his wife, Odette, were married in 2010.

Odette Annable
Odette Yustman Annable
Paving the way for young Latinas, the beautiful and talented Odette Annable is making her way as one to watch. She starred alongside Hugh Laurie in the Fox series "House. M.D." and Christian Slater in "Breaking In", produced by Happy Madison. She will next be seen on the big screen alongside Topher Grace and Richard Gere in the Hyde Park film "The Double"."And Soon the Darkness" in which she stars alongside Amber Heard and Karl Urban and Disney's YOU AGAIN!

Odette made her mark starring in J.J. Abram's box-office hit "Cloverfield". Annable went on to star in the comedy "You Again", David S. Goyer’s horror-thriller "The Unborn" and the comedy/drama "Operation: Endgame" opposite Zach Galifianakis.

Annable began her acting career at age five when she appeared with Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Kindergarten Cop." After taking time to complete high school and to pursue a modeling career, she landed a starring role in the Jennifer Lopez-produced television series "South Beach." Annable continued to work in television, starring as graduate student "Aubrey Diaz" on the critically acclaimed drama "October Road." Her other television appearances include guest-starring roles on "Brothers & Sisters," "Life on Mars," "Monk" and "Quintuplets" and in the telefilm "Remembrance."

Additional feature credits include "The Holiday," "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story," "Transformers" and "Dear God." She can be heard as the voice of "Amata Almodovar" in the hit video game "Fallout 3."

Annable resides in Los Angeles with her husband, actor Dave Annable.

Danny Arroyo
Danny Arroyo"The reason I am an actor today is because of Christopher Reeve," said Danny Arroyo. "I caught the 'acting bug' after seeing an interview with Chris about playing 'Superman;' and then, watching his movies... I was hooked. Chris to me as a kid growing up was, and always will be, the comic icon Superman. He's even in my demo reel!

Originally from New York/New Jersey, Arroyo has shared the silver screen with some of today's biggest stars, including Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Thomas Jane, Rosanna Arquette and Salma Hayek. Big screen credits include Lethal Weapon 4, The Velocity of Gary and White Rush, Kill Katie Malone, Spring Breakdown and Repo Chick. On the small screen, he has made guest appearances on countless hit shows, including Without a Trace, 24, My Own Worst Enemy, General Hospital and E.R.

"As I got older and saw not just the trauma Chris suffered, but how he endured and continued to achieve and inspire others, he then became to me a real 'Super - Man.' Thanks to social media, the Reeve Foundation and I ‘found’ each other, and I’m thrilled to join them as an ambassador. The incredible work that they do deserves as much attention as it can get, and I’m going to do whatever I can to help them."

Joseph Briseno
Joseph BrisenoJoseph Briseno's life was changed forever when his son, Joseph D. Briseno Jr (Jay), was severely wounded while serving in Baghdad, Iraq.  On June 2003, an Iraqi bystander shot his son in the back of his neck and that single bullet severed Jay's spinal cord. As a result, Jay suffered a C3 spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, two cardiac arrests, and, has paralysis from his shoulders down, and lost all vision. Wanting to give back to the Foundation who helped his family, Briseno became an ambassador for the Reeve Foundation's Military Outreach Campaign and Multicultural Outreach Program. A Filipino American, Joseph hopes to promote the resources of the PRC with other Filipino-Americans, which is the largest Asian ethnic group who serve in the U.S. military. In 2007, Briseno joined PRC representatives in visits to VA hospitals to educate medical staff about everything the PRC has to offer. 

Scott Chesney
Scott ChesneyScott Chesney, a two-time world traveler and a navigator of life with paralysis for two decades, has been described as a "profile in courage," "a master of living life to its fullest," and "a commander in change," while addressing over one million people in 38 countries.

After awakening to paralysis at the age of 15 from a sudden spinal stroke, Scott has amassed a resume of transformational experiences, powerful insights, and inspiring stories that cut to the core of the human spirit. He has become a nationally and internationally recognized workshop and keynote presenter, and his positive and inspiring messages have changed countless lives. His insights have been coveted and applauded by Fortune 500 corporations, hospitals/rehab centers, associations, and even an audience at The United Nations.

Francesco Clark
Francesco Clark
On June 1, 2002 life changed instantly for Francesco Clark. That day, the aspiring fashion expert, who then worked at Harper's Bazaar, sustained a spinal cord injury in a swimming pool diving accident.  Wanting to turn his tragedy into hope for others living with paralysis, Clark became an advocate for spinal cord injury research. Clark, the owner of the skin care company Clark's Botanicals, plans on being a voice of hope for the SCI community. Clark is also a co-chair for the Champions Committee, a new Reeve Foundation initiative bringing together a group of energetic and philanthropic New Yorkers to help further the Foundation's important work.

Cecelia Fred
Cecelia Fred
A member of the Navajo Nation, she became a paraplegic from a gunshot to her spinal cord when she was six years old. Despite her injury, Cecelia has prospered over the years. She is a jewelry maker and teaches individuals with disabilities to make and sell jewelry through the "Precious Life" project, which offers personal and psychotherapeutic support to people with disabilities. She speaks out regularly about the need for injury prevention in schools, senior centers, and community centers through Arthur Hardy and the Voice of Injury Prevention (VIP) for ThinkFirst Navajo Nation. Cecelia is also a tireless advocate for better conditions and treatment of people with disabilities with the Navajo government, New Mexico State government, and Federal government agencies to and advocated. Cecelia lives in New Mexico with her son and husband.

Juan Garibay
Juan Garibay
Multicultural Ambassador, Juan Garibay, is a counselor with the KnowBarriers Life Coaching & Violence Prevention Program at Rancho Los Amigos' National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, Calif., a community program focused on educating children about violence prevention.

During a gang-related shooting in 1993, Juan came under fire which led to his spinal cord being injured. He became a "T-12 complete" paraplegic, which means he was paralyzed from his waist down. Following his injury, he entered the rehabilitation program at Rancho Los Amigos, initially spending about five weeks in rehab.

Juan has received his certification on drug and alcohol counseling from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and is currently pursuing his bachelor's degree. An avid wheelchair basketball player, he enjoys reading and listening to music when not educating youths on staying out of trouble. He lives with his teenage daughter in Harbor City, California.

Eric Gibson
Eric Gibson
Multicultural Ambassador, Eric Gibson is a medical supplies sales professional and counselor with the KnowBarriers Life Coaching & Violence Prevention Program at Rancho Los Amigos' National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, Calif., a community program focused on educating children about violence prevention.

In 1993, Eric was at the receiving end of gunfire. His spinal cord was injured in the T-12/L-1 area, which paralyzed him; however, he has some feeling in his legs and can walk with the help of braces. When he was injured, he spent two months at the rehabilitation program at Rancho Los Amigos. Upon being discharged, Eric knew he had to turn his life around.

Eric has received his certification on drug and alcohol counseling from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and is training himself in the area of video-editing. A dedicated amateur videographer, he produces public service announcements on violence prevention and staying out of trouble that he publishes on his YouTube channel. When not out in the community or filming or editing a PSA, Eric likes to catch up on his reading and spend time with his family. He has four children and a grandson, and lives with his fiancée in Marina del Rey, Calif. Learn more about Eric on his website Wheelchair-with-a-purpose.com.

Michael Glen
Michael GlenMichael is the first and only paraplegic balloon pilot in the world! He has been described as a genuine, witty and heartfelt speaker. He hits his audiences with honesty and passion unexpected by most. His keynotes don’t just leave people inspired but motivated and ready take on a positive direction to fulfill their goals and dreams without letting obstacles stop their progress. Having suffered an injury that would cripple most people’s spirits, having traveled the world despite that injury, and becoming a balloon pilot despite many telling him it was impossible, Michael impacts his audience with a message of hope, strength, and perseverance that is unique and inspiring. Watch him take his balloon up!

Daniel Hernandez
Daniel Hernandez
Best known for being a professional soccer player, Daniel Hernandez joined the ambassador program in March 2011.

"It warms my heart to know I am able to give back to a community that has had such an impact in my life," said Hernandez. "My brother has been living with paralysis as a result of a car accident that occurred in 1998. Before his injury we both played soccer at Southern Methodist University for current FC Dallas Coach Schellas Hyndman. This is my way of playing for both of us on the field and off. I am filled with gratitude to have this opportunity to be a part of something that's bigger than me and thrilled to do what I can to help further the cause."

Hernandez grew up in Tyler, Texas, playing both soccer and football. He attended Southern Methodist University on a football scholarship as a kicker, splitting time between the Mustangs' football and soccer teams before committing to focusing solely on soccer where he earned All-America honors for SMU. Hernandez made his professional debut with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1998 and has played for teams in both Major League Soccer and the Mexican Primera Division, as well as with the U.S. Men's National Team since then. Hernandez returned home to play for FC Dallas halfway through the 2009 season. He became the squad's captain in 2010, leading his hometown side to its first Western Conference Championship that same season. Hernandez has a soccer field, "Estadio Daniel Demetrio Hernandez," named after him in his hometown.

Gary Karp
Gary Karp
Gary Karp is an internationally recognized public speaker, corporate trainer, facilitator, author, and editor. He has been living, fully, with a T12 spinal cord injury since 1973 when he was injured in a fall from a tree at the age of eighteen. For his unique and extensive contributions to disability awareness, in 2007 Gary was inducted into the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame as a disability educator. A very highly-regarded speaker, Gary represents the Christopher & Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center while speaking in rehabilitation settings and to university students of physical and occupational therapy.

Dr. Suzy Kim
Dr. Suzy Kim
Multicultural Ambassador, Dr. Suzy Kim is a physician who specializes in rehabilitation and SCI medicine and is also part of UC Irvine's Reeve-Irvine Research Center, serving as an assistant clinical professor and director of education and scientific liaison at the UC Irvine Reeve-Irvine Research Center.

During medical school Suzy was a highly energetic triathlete. During her third year of medical school, Suzy was in a surfing accident which resulted in a spinal cord injury.

After the accident, Suzy attended lengthy rehabilitative therapy sessions and learned how to navigate her way around using a wheelchair. Ten months after her injury, Suzy returned to medical school to complete her studies.

In working with the Paralysis Resource Center, Dr. Kim has spoken at a media briefing in San Francisco, spoke at the Live without Limits event Los Angeles, and attended the Paralysis Task Force meeting held in Washington, DC this year.

Vanessa Marano
Vanessa MaranoVanessa Marano started acting in the theater when she was seven years old, performing in numerous plays at A.C.T. in Agoura Hills, California. She began her professional career with several national commercials.

Marano is most recognized for her roles as April, the daughter of Luke in the highly popular show, "Gilmore Girls" and for the role of Francesca, the daughter of the Emmy Award winning Lisa Kudrow, in the HBO Original series "The Comeback".

Currently, she is starring in the ABC Family series, "Switched at Birth" playing Bay Kinnish.

Last summer, she starred in ABC's "Scoundrels" playing the scheming, school-skipping daughter of Virginia Madsen.

She has had recurring roles in shows including "Dexter", "Without a Trace", "Trust Me", and "The Young and The Restless". Her guest-starring credits include "Private Practice", "Parenthood", "Medium", "Ghost Whisperer", "Past Lives", "Six Feet Under", "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Grounded for Life."

She starred as a young girl who becomes a quadriplegic in the critically acclaimed television movie "The Brooke Ellison Story" directed by Christopher Reeve.

Marano's first film was the animated hit, "Finding Nemo," followed by the independent films, "Easy," "The Clique", "Stopping Power", "Dear Lemon Lima" and most recently "The Secret Lives Of Dorks".

Vanessa just worked with Lucy Liu on a miniseries playing the troubled foster teenager, Immy in "Marry Me".

Vanessa is enrolled in her sophomore year in college.

Ruben Rios
Ruben RiosMulticultural Ambassador, Ruben Rios is a scholarship holder for the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists. Ruben incurred a C3 spinal cord injury due to a gunshot wound in 1988, and spent the subsequent 10 months after his injury at The L.A. County General Hospital. After being released from the hospital his mom was his sole caregiver for the years that followed. As a child Ruben always loved taking a blank sheet of paper and transforming it with art. He even took a commercial art class, at a local trade school, for extra credit, in high school. After his injury he used his mouth stick to turn pages in books, use remote controls and type letters. One afternoon, his mom attached a ball point pen to the mouth stick and he began to doodle on a makeshift easel.

In 1996 Ruben applied and was accepted to the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists as a scholarship holder. The Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists mentored him through the process of taking his art from a hobby to a career goal. On February 10th, 2014, Ruben passed away. The Reeve Foundation celebrates his contribution to the paralysis community and beyond. We will use his example of bravery, passion and hope to fuel us forward. Our hearts go out to Ruben friends and family. View some of Ruben's artwork on his website.

Angela Rockwood
Angela Rockwood-Nguyen and Dustin NguyenAngela Rockwood, 37, was born in Clovis, New Mexico, and grew up all over the world as the child of a career military man. She started modeling at the age of 17, later becoming a fitness instructor, which led her into the world of martial arts. At 22, she relocated to Los Angeles, where she launched an acting career, with small roles The Fast and the Furious and the syndicated television series V.I.P.

Angela became paralyzed in an automobile accident on September 3, 2001. She and two girlfriends were driving home from a trip to San Francisco when her friend lost control of the car. Angela was in the backseat and was thrown through a window; as a result she was diagnosed as a c4 quadriplegic.

Angela recognized "she was transported to the realm of the paralyzed for a reason." She has stated she, "had a huge choice to make: to continue to go down a positive path, be an example for others in similar positions and be a voice."

As an Ambassador for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Angela represents the Paralysis Resource Center in outreach to Asian-American communities. She serves as a spokesmodel for Ti-Lite Wheelchairs and also works as a model for clients such as Target and Nordstrom. Angela has also appeared on television shows such as Entertainment Tonight and Larry King Live discussing life after her accident. She has picked up her acting career by landing two national commercials for AARP and Sony. Angela is also featured in CinemAbility, a documentary to be released in 2013, directed by Jenni Gold, which includes Ben Affleck, Jaime Foxx, and Jane Seymour.

Angela believes "life is a gift and what we do with our life is our gift back." After her injury, she has chosen not to focus on the negative, but instead to be a positive example for the disability community. Most recently, she has done this as one of the stars and producers of the Sundance Channel's Push Girls. The show follows the lives of five women living with paralysis as they grow their friendship and take on everyday life. The show has brought Angela to television appearances on Ellen and Good Morning America, and an appearance at The White House.

Wilmer Valderrama
Wilmer Valderrama
Best known for his role as 'Fez' on the hit television sitcom "That 70's Show," and as the host and producer of MTV's "Yo Momma", Wilmer has worked as an ambassador for the PRC's Multicultural Outreach Program since 2005. In addition to helping the Reeve Foundation build awareness in a younger demographic, Valderrama helps promote the Foundation and the PRC's resources to the Hispanic community. On behalf of the Foundation, Wilmer visited Ranchos Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, a Quality of Life grant recipient, and joined in a wheelchair basketball game.

He also starred in the movie The Dry Land.

Karrie Webb
Karrie Webb
The world of women’s professional golf never has known another player like Karrie Webb, who has broken records in every category and become the fastest money earner in history during her first five years on the LPGA tour. She is winner of 36 LPGA tournaments including 7 majors, 10 international victories, and member of the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame. Karrie credits much of her success to her long-time coach and mentor, Kelvin Haller. Twenty years ago, Kelvin became spinal cord injured due to an accident and he now lives with quadriplegia. Although he no longer is able to travel with Karrie to every competition, Kelvin is able to analyze Karrie’s swing via e-mail from home, and remains a strong influence on her life and golf career.

In 1999, Christopher Reeve and Karrie met and discussed how they could work together to raise awareness and money for spinal cord injury research. Karrie has been a long-time supporter of the Reeve Foundation and is proud to serve as an ambassador, spreading awareness throughout her travels across the globe.

Zack Weinstein
Zack WeinsteinZack
 is an up-and-coming actor in Hollywood. A graduate of Skidmore College ('09), Zack lives in Los Angeles and is quickly becoming one of the most recognizable actors with a physical disability. Recently, Zack appeared in a guest starring role in an episode of the hit Fox television series Glee and will have a guest role on CBS's NCIS this season!

Robin Wilson-Beattie
Robin Wilson-Beattie In January 2004, Robin Wilson-Beattie began experiencing some unusual problems with her body. Her legs began to go out from under her, and she noticed she was losing sensation in her lower torso. After several tests, it turned out that Robin had an extremely rare birth defect, called an intramedullary arteriovenous malformation (AVM) located inside her spinal cord at the C-4 level. This was beginning to bleed, and the pressure from the bleeding was what was causing the physical problems.

"One week before the surgery my doctors insisted I needed to remove the AVM, I found out I was pregnant," says Robin. "I saw my unborn child as the hope I needed to carry on, so I decided to go ahead with the surgery. When I awoke from the surgery, I learned that I was now a person with C-4 incomplete quadriplegia."

After a grueling pregnancy and several months of treatment, Robin delivered a healthy baby girl. Rather than allow her acquired disability to place limits on her life, she found new inspiration and purpose. She now is heavily involved in local and national advocacy for the disabled.

Robin's current goal is to develop a youth advocacy program, so that young people with disabilities can learn how to self-advocate, in order to live independent lives in their communities, as adults. She is employed as a youth advocacy coordinator at disABILITY LINK, a Center for Independent Living. She also serves as a multicultural ambassador for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s Paralysis Resource Center. Robin lives in Atlanta, Ga., with her family.

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders