Roman Reed

How y’all doin’?  Yesterday I was in northern CA trick-or-treating with my little girl, and here I am.

On Sept 10, 1994 I want from being the 3rd highest recruited linebacker in the USA to nothing.  My whole life had been physical movement . ..  I’d been captain of every team I’d ever been on.  I could bench press 435.  My father was a champion weight lifter.  My goal was the NFL.  Doctor came in my room and told me I’d never move my arms my legs, never father a child.  I said, fuck you.  Get out of my room.

One option was to take some pain killers.  How do you look at a child and say good luck and look away?  if you’re a man, you don’t.  Do we look away?  We don’t.  We’re all here together.

My dad and I went to Stanford and bought $300 worth of books.  Oh boy, what is this?  Is this English??  I knew I wouldn’t be the scientist who would fix this.  I needed the Jerry Silvers and the Os Stewards and the rest of them.

You have to agitate, be a loud sqeaky wheel, ask.  Always ask.  Build a coalition from the grassroots up.  Our power budget was Zero dollars.  We had no resources, no funding, no nothing, and we passed the Roman Reed law — by nothing but hard work and organizing.  We had Norman Schwartzkopf.  We had Chris Reeve testifying for us over the phone, and we were so excited we were taking pictures of the phone!

He never took no for an answer.  He had to push forward, we have to push forward.  The first mention of paralysis is written on a cave wall.

Deny the paralyzed soldier water, because nothing can be done.

No more.  What would you do if you had winning lottery numbers in front of you, but there was no place to turn them in?  Wouldn’t you move hell or high water to get to them?  I think we have those lottery numbers in this room.

If you asked me who I could cure, it would be this little 4-year-old girl named Gwendolyn Strong.  She’s 99% perfect, but that last 1% is going to cost her everything.  How can we turn away from her?

It costs trillions just to take care of people like us.  We don’t want it!  We  want to get better.


Marilyn is saying that sometimes we seem a little edgy . . . as Roman just explained, this is what it takes. We’ve had two previous winners of our KICKASS ADVOCATE AWARD, and they’re both here today: Karen Miner and Geoff Kent.

This year’s award doesn’t really need any explanation after that last talk . . . it goes to Roman Reed.


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One Comment on “Roman Reed”

  1. […] tract, which is, incredibly, exactly what’s being described right here.  Advocate Roman Reed saying he thinks we have the winning lottery ticket right in this […]

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