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Celebs Lend Support to Cancer-Stricken Dana Reeve

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Aug 10, 2005 | 7:27am EDT

Christopher Reeve's widow Dana Reeve is devastated after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Dana Reeve, who has never smoked, was heartbroken after the Superman actor's death in October last year, but his long fight against his spinal injuries following a horse riding accident, is inspiring her determination to beat the disease.

The 43-year-old actress says, "I have recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, and am currently undergoing treatment. I have an excellent team of physicians, and we are optimistic about my prognosis.

"Now, more than ever, I feel Chris with me as I face this challenge. As always, I look to him as the ultimate example of defying the odds with strength, courage and hope in the face of life's adversities."

Dana Reeve's news comes just ten months after her quadriplegic husband died and just six months after her mother Helen died from complications of ovarian cancer surgery at age 71.

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Meanwhile, Gwyneth Paltrow has expressed her sorrow at the news Dana Reeve is suffering lung cancer.

Paltrow is a longterm family friend of Dana and her late husband Christopher, and lost her father Bruce Paltrow to throat cancer almost three years ago.

When told of the news, she said, "Oh my gosh. Wow, that's terrible. I've known her since I was a little girl. That's really awful. That woman has such strength and tenacity. I wish her well."

Robin Williams, too, has offered his support to close friend after discovering she is battling lung cancer.

Williams, a close pal of Reeve's late husband, issued a statement just hours after the news went public. Signed by Williams and his wife Marsha, it reads, "Love and support to Dana and her family during this challenging time. We hope their need for privacy is respected so Dana can focus on her healing."

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