Christopher Reeve’s Widow Dana Reeve Passed Away from Cancer Shortly after Her Husband’s Death, Leaving Their Only Son Orphaned

Christopher Reeve passed away in October 2004, and his wife Dana Reeve also died of cancer less than two years after her husband. Their death left their only child together, William Reeve, orphaned. 

Hollywood star Christopher Reeve, best known for his role as Clark Kent in the movie "Superman," died in 2004. Less than a year after the star actor's passing, his widow Dana Reeve announced that she had cancer.

Dana also passed away a few months after her big announcement. Christopher's foundation president Kathy Lewis noted that she had visited the actress a few days before her passing, and she looked "strong and courageous."

Christopher Reeve and Dana Reeve at the screening of "House Of D" on May 7, 2004 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Christopher Reeve and Dana Reeve at the screening of "House Of D" on May 7, 2004 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

DANA'S LIFE AND DEATH 

Dana was a singer who doubled as an actress with a couple of appearances on stage and television. She starred in episodes of some drama series like "OZ" and "Law and Order."

One of her significant music performances was at Madison Square Garden. It was a gathering for Mark Messier's New York Rangers jersey retirement ceremony for the National Hockey League.

After her husband's death, she carried on his legacy and chaired his foundation. The organization funds research for new treatments for spinal cord wounds, and it also works to improve the life and health of people who have paralysis.

[William] noted that although he and his dad couldn't do many activities, he felt connected to him after seeing whales.

Dana died at 44 after battling cancer of the lungs. She was highly commended for staying true and supporting her husband after a horseback riding accident that left him paralyzed.

Following Dana's death, Kate Michelman, a member of the foundation's board, explained that they all believed she would survive because it seemed her health had improved. She was determined to survive, and she fought till the end.

DANA'S HAPPINESS AMIDST HER TRAGEDY 

Although Dana went through many heartbreaking moments after losing her husband, mother and learning of the tumor growing inside her, the actress still found a way to stand firm.

Dana had hope in her survival, and amidst her undergoing chemotherapy, she still supported Christopher's foundation. She once noted that her illness made her understand what her husband and people who have paralysis went through.

CHRISTOPHER AND DANA'S SON

William, who is pursuing a career in sports journalism, also carried on his parents' hard work to solve paralysis. The 29 years old had opened up about how difficult it was for him after losing two parents in a short period.

He noted a letter he wrote to his 13-year-old self that he couldn't go lower after reaching his lowest point, and the only place to go was up. Part of the heartwarming letter read:

"Just be you. Because you are what will make mom and dad most proud. Every moment you spent with them, they were preparing you for a life without them."

WILLIAM'S TRIBUTE TO DAD ON FATHER'S DAY

On father's day, June 21, 2021, William paid tribute to his late dad with a heartfelt note and a throwback photo of the two. William was 3-year-old when his father became paralyzed in 1995.

In a note uploaded on Good Morning America, William remembered when he saw his dad on a VHS tape of a whale documentary. He noted that although he and his dad couldn't do many activities, he felt connected to him after seeing whales in Alaska.

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