This is where the staff of the Reeve Foundation is sharing up-to-the-minute information and putting some context around the news affecting the spinal cord injury and paralysis community. Not to mention insight into what's going on here at the Foundation.
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Ruben Rios is a uniquely talented individual, and a much-loved member of the Reeve Foundation community. When we heard that he was being presented with a lifetime achievement award from the Southwest Conference on Disability in Albuquerque, NM, and that he would be unable to attend, we were honored to accept the award on his behalf.
In 1988, at the age of 18, Ruben was injured from a gunshot wound. Shortly after his injury, he took up art, thanks in part to the support of organization called the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists. His talent blossomed, and over the years he has painted with acrylics and oils, and developed a keen acumen for pointillism, creating beautiful scenes with the point of his felt tip pen. Ruben counts a portrait of Christopher Reeve among his many pieces, and he is currently an Artist in Residence for the Conference.
This year, Ruben had planned on teaching a breakout group here to showcase his talent, and to encourage others with spinal cord injury to find creative outlets of their own. He has devoted a large part to his life to doing just this, and he has inspired many to this end in his role as Reeve Foundation Ambassador.
Unfortunately, Ruben slipped into a coma. But while he was unable to attend this year's Conference in person, it was obvious to all gathered that his presence was still deeply felt. When Ruben's name was announced, over 1,000 conference attendees enthusiastically applauded his talent, and the great source of support and inspiration that he has been to so many. Event organizer Dr. Anthony Cahill of the University of New Mexico (pictured with Niketa accepting the award) asked us to clap so loud that Ruben could hear us. I believe that he did.
We wish Ruben and his family all the best, and we congratulate him on this profoundly meaningful award. We also thank Ruben for all that he has given to the Reeve Foundation, and to our community, over the years.
Learn more about Ruben and watch a VIDEO of him painting.
Senior Vice President
Quality of Life
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