Reeve stars in ABC documentary

— "What we're trying to show is that conventional wisdom is now falling by the wayside," said Christopher Reeve, describing a new documentary that chronicles remarkable progress in his fight to regain movement and even walk again.

"Christopher Reeve: Courageous Steps" shows the "Superman" star moving his right wrist, left fingers and both legs � developments few in the scientific community predicted after he was paralyzed in a riding accident in 1995.

"Christopher Reeve: Courageous Steps" airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday on ABC, Sunflower Broadband Channels 9 and 12

The film was directed by Reeve's 22-year-old son, Matthew, who "enabled the documentary to give what I call a fly-on-the-wall, warts-and-all look at my life, which I would not have been willing to reveal to some other documentary-maker."

"In the past, people have seen me when I'm all put together in the (wheel)chair, dressed and groomed," Reeve said during a telephone conference Monday. "This is what really goes on daily."

The film, narrated by Reeve, shows his intensive exercise regimen, as well as his home life with his family, including actress-wife Dana Reeve, near New York City.

It covers a yearlong period from May 27, 2001, the sixth anniversary of his accident, and includes his attendance at Matthew's graduation from Brown University on May 27 this year.

Reeve's recovery thus far defies medical theory since it didn't occur until five years after his injury.

"There's tremendous potential for harnessing the body's desire to heal itself," he said.

But his regained motion and sensation (he can feel a pinprick on the majority of his body) falls short of his widely quoted pledge to walk by his 50th birthday, which arrives on Sept. 25.

That vow, said Reeve, "was meant to motivate researchers to move more quickly, and I think that it did have that effect."


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