Will Reeves was a toddler when his dad, Superman star Christopher Reeve was paralyzed in a horseback riding accident. He was orphaned by age 13 when his mother, Dana, died of lung cancer. Now he’s 17 and determined to keep the memory of his activist parents alive.
Will Reeve is such an inspiration! Despite losing both his parents — Christopher and Dana — at the tender age of 13, he has grown up to be a strong, confident young man, who’s working hard to make sure that the memory of his parents lives on forever. “I never consciously viewed them as inspirations then, but their heroic efforts shaped who I am today and who I hope to become tomorrow,” Will (pictured above with his half-sister, Alexandra) said at the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation‘s Gala in New York City on Wednesday (Nov. 17).
His parents Dana and Christopher set up a foundation that funded research into spinal-cord paralysis cures, shortly after Christopher became paralyzed in a horseback riding accident in 1995. The Superman star lost his battle to live in October 2004, when Will was only 11 years old. Tragically, just two years later his mom, Dana, died from lung cancer, which came as a shock since she was never a smoker. The teen was raised by neighbors, who were friends of the family, and they clearly did a great job, because he’s grown up to be an amazing young man.
Today the 17-year-old is the spitting image of his deceased dad, and he and his siblings — half-sister, Alexandra, 25, and half-brother, Matthew, 29 — are following in their parents charitable footsteps.
At the New York gala earlier this week, Will shared cherished memories of his family. “Some of my fondest memories of our family take place in our driveway, where I’m running around playing one sport or another. Dad’s watching me with a smile on his face the size of Texas, and Mom has her hands around Dad’s shoulders, letting go only to play fetch with our tennis ball-addict white Lab,” he told the crowd, according to People magazine.
“If I told you that story, and you knew nothing about me or my parents, I think it’s safe to say that you would have no clue that I was describing a family dealing with paralysis.” Will wanted everyone to know that the most important thing that a family affected by disability can do is make life as normal as possible.
HollyMoms, we’re curious, who is the most inspirational person in your life?