Christopher Reeve & his wife died when their son was 13, but they gave him a normal childhood before he was orphaned

Christopher Reeve & his wife died when their son was 13, but they gave him a normal childhood before he was orphaned

Will Reeve has fond memories of his childhood despite losing both his parents within 18 months of each other. "They mattered to the world in a way that is rare and should be celebrated, and I try to celebrate that as much as I can."

There's always a point in our life when we feel like we're too far down the rabbit hole, and nothing feels like nothing's going to be alright. However, the way you manage to get back on your own two feet and move on is what defines you as a person. Christopher Reeve's son Will Reeve was just 13 years old when he lost both his parents. Orphaned at an age when kids transition from childhood into the turbulent teenage years, Will Reeve had it rough like any other kid left without parents. But now, at 28, he is an inspiration.

Will Reeve speaks onstage at the 2019 Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Gala at Cipriani South Street on November 14, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation)

Will was just 3 when his father, Christopher was seriously injured after he fell off from a horse. The accident had shattered his first and second vertebrae, leaving the Superman star paralyzed. The tragedy affected the family in a lot of ways but Christopher and his wife, Dana, made sure it didn't affect Will, who was still a toddler.


In an interview with People in 2016, Will recalled the time growing up with his parents, talking about how it was still normal in many accounts despite the tragedy his dad had faced. "They were the people who told me to turn off the TV, to eat my broccoli, to go to bed. I understand that not every child experiences going to the grocery store and seeing their dad on the magazine at the checkout aisle, but... it was a totally normal childhood," he said. Christopher Reeve even taught his son to ride a bicycle from his wheelchair.


"The fact that he was paralyzed did present its own set of challenges because we couldn’t be spontaneous. That could be difficult, but my parents did such a good job of staying true to their values that I never felt deprived of a normal childhood, even though my experiences, at face value, were inherently different from other children my age," Will added.

While his parents did their best to ensure Will had a normal childhood, the family was struck with another greater tragedy. Nine years after his accident, Christopher Reeve passed away in 2004 due to complications from a pressure wound. The Superman actor was no more, and Will had lost his dad.

But little did he know then that he was fated to grow up without a mother, too. Dana Reeve was diagnosed with lung cancer not long after Christopher's death. Will was shattered as the news of his mum's sickness came just 10 months after he lost his father. And in 2006, at the tender age of 13, Will had lost both his parents.


Left an orphan, Will wrote a letter to himself that read, "Dear Will, I've got good news and bad news. I'll start with the bad, because you always need to know exactly what's going on, no matter what. That won't change, by the way. The bad news is: You're at the lowest point of your life. You're in a hospital room in New York City, and you've just said your final goodbye to Mom," as reported by CBS News.

"You're 13. She's 44. Lung cancer. Never smoked. Gone, just like Dad, who died a year-and-a-half ago, which at the time was the lowest you had been. Now you're at a new bottom and you're terrified and confused and just so sad. But! Here's the good news: this is the low point. There's nowhere to go but up, and that's exactly where you're headed."


It has been 15 years since Will Reeve lost his parents and he's managed to make a name for himself as a successful sports journalist but he remembers his parents in hopes to keep their legacy alive.

"I want to be like my parents because they made a real difference in the world," he said while talking to People in 2019. "They were really important people, I think. And I think that is the way that their legacy has stayed with me. These people mattered. They mattered to the world in a way that is rare and should be celebrated, and I try to celebrate that as much as I can. I love keeping their memory alive. I love knowing that they matter to other people enough to talk about it."

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