Christopher Reeve's life was cut short due to tragedy, but his legacy is living on with his son Will.
Will was just 12 years old when his famous father passed away in 2004, but their bond still remains strong. Tragedy struck once again when his mother, Dana, passed just 17 months after that. Will was raised by local family friends in Bedford, New York, but he held his family close to his heart.
"Everything I do, I try to honor my parents' legacy," Reeve says. "I want to keep their names alive."
Christopher Reeve became a disabled-rights activist after he was paralyzed in 1995, when Will was just 3 years old. Over the next 10 years, he and his wife Dana would raise millions of dollars, mostly invested in stem-cell research.
Christopher had three children. Matthew and Alexandra with Gae Exton, and youngest son, Will, with wife Dana. All three have kept his legacy alive through their work with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
Will trains and runs the New York City Marathon for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. One of his goals was to finish the marathon in his parents' honor. His other goal was to personally raise $35,000 for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, of which he is a board member. Reeve playfully admits that he has been talking about doing this marathon for years, but always says he'll do it "next year."
"Finally I realized, 'What kind of example am I setting when many of the people in the spinal-injury world for whom I advocate would do anything just to be able to step up to the starting line?"
Reeve ran the marathon with a team of about 50 members.Reeve says he drew inspiration from his parents through the race.
Will Reeve has gotten a lot of attention as of late, not only for doing his part to keep the family legacy alive but for looking like his late father! Here he is at the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation "Magical Evening" Gala last November.
Appearing on CBS This Morning’s series Note to Self, Will read a heartfelt note addressed to his 13-year-old self, “I’ve got good news and bad news.”
“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,” he read. “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.”
Will continues: "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.
You will always remember the good stuff. Dad in the driveway teaching you how to ride a bike just by telling you what to do, you trusting him so fully that you just do it. Mom's singing voice filling the air with sweetness at home and in the car to school."
Perhaps you weren’t aware that Will had also tried his hand in acting when he was younger. He acted in movies such as In the Gloaming (1997), The Brooke Ellison Story (2004), and Everyone’s Hero (2006).
In an interview with Jeff Pearlman, Will answered poignant question that I have wondered myself.
Stupid question, perhaps, but what is it like having Superman as a father?
"Well, I didn’t have Superman as a father. I had my dad, Chris. Superman, he reminded me often, was just a role he played for a little while well before I was born, which happened to have a major impact on his life and the world. To me, Dad was Superman, but not because of that role; he was my hero because he was my dad. My life was as “normal” as it could have been, given the circumstances, and my parents went to great lengths to ensure that my existence was not defined by fame or privilege, so I never really cared much about what they did for a living as a result. I’m exceedingly grateful for that."
These days you may have seen that Will is a Multi Platform Reporter at ABC News.