Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Announces New Hispanic Ambassadors

Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Announces New Hispanic Ambassadors

Hispanic celebrities raise awareness about paralysis


Short Hills, NJ–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – PRNewswire)–January 30, 2008–In an effort to improve the quality of life among Hispanics living with paralysis, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) announces their 2008 Hispanic Ambassadors. Through public appearances, public service announcements, and other means of communication, the Hispanic Ambassadors are committed to increasing awareness of the PRC’s mission of promoting the health and well-being of people living with a spinal cord injury, mobility impairment or paralysis by providing comprehensive information, resources and referral services, and grants.

The PRC’s new Hispanic Ambassadors are: television personalities Alfonso de Anda, Jencarlos Canela, Alejandro Chaban, Candela Ferro, Maritza Rodriguez and Hugo Vasquez; Mexican singer Rogelio Martinez; and Academy Award nominated actress Adriana Barrera. Actor Wilmer Valderrama, who participated in various PRC awareness efforts in 2007, will continue his support in 2008.

“I had a family member diagnosed with a disease that may cause her to be paralyzed, and it was difficult for me to understand what changes we would experience as a family,” said newly appointed Ambassador Hugo Vasquez. “Having the Paralysis Resource Center provide the public with free information and resources to overcome our challenges can make all the difference in the world between having hope and feeling lost. I have hope.”

In the United States, 37 percent of Hispanics know or have known of someone who lives with paralysis. Apart from degenerative diseases like ALS and multiple sclerosis, or birth conditions like spina bifida, people can become paralyzed as a result of injury or accidents that can change their lives in an instant. Acknowledging that Hispanics and other ethnic communities already experience additional challenges to accessing health care, the PRC is making a significant effort to provide resources and support to Hispanics living with paralysis and their family members.

“We are thrilled that our 2008 Hispanic Ambassadors have teamed with us to spread awareness about the PRC’s efforts because finding useful information about paralysis, especially in language, can be frustrating,” explained Joseph Canose, vice president for Quality of Life at the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. “We have bilingual information specialists at the PRC who answer our toll-free resource line and a Spanish language website to ensure that we can help paralyzed individuals live lives without limits.”

To interview a Hispanic Ambassador contact David Roman at LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS at (323) 469-8680 or via e-mail at

The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC), a program of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (CDRF) and formed through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has established a Multicultural Outreach Program to promote informed health care decisions and active and independent living among those in the Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American/Pacific Islander and Native American communities living with paralysis. For more information about the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation or to obtain information about the PRC or how to improve the quality of life for someone living with paralysis please visit our website at or, or call (800) 539-7309.

Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Announces New Hispanic Ambassadors