My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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g’bye superman

I am stunned. When Derrida died today, i chuckled at the NYTimes label Abstruse Theorist. But Christopher Reeve’s death hits home on a much more personal note.

I broke my neck only months before Reeve broke his in 1995. Our injuries are very similar, only a calcium deposit in my spinal chord from an earlier gymnastics accident prevented my destiny from looking like his. Every time a doctor looks at my chart, they are stunned that i am walking. I am very lucky and very thankful. Every time i see Reeve, i am humbled.

I lose vision and hearing often and have ongoing chronic pain. Still, this is nothing compared to Reeve’s story. Yet, i have always held onto the dream that through his celebrity, research would continue and there would one day be a cure that will stop the deterioration of my neck. When Kerry referred to Reeve in his answer on stem-cells, i couldn’t help but get teary-eyed. Reeve has been an icon for my quiet struggle. I just hope to god that, in his memory, the fight will go on. I am sad to see my Superman depart this earth and i hope that he is dancing in the heavens.

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2 comments to g’bye superman

  • Had no idea, Danah. So sorry to hear about both Reeve’s passing and your own suffering. I hope we’ll get somewhere on the stem cell issue soon–we have professors that lecture to us here saying that they could definitely use the cell lines that Bush blocked, even though he likes to claim that there’s already plenty of progress on adult cells.

  • tony

    it’s sad but he was so strong after his injury-he was more than a superman. The human spirit is tougher than steel.