General News

Reeve's son honours late parents at charity gala

By:
Nov 18, 2010 | 4:00am EST

Will was just 11 years old when the Superman star died from a heart attack in 2004 after years of being wheelchair-bound following a horse-riding accident in 1995.

Further tragedy struck the 17 year old when his mother Dana passed away in 2006 after a battle with lung cancer - leaving him an orphan at the age of 13.

But Will proved he's overcome his difficult early years as he took to the stage to promote their charity, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, at a glitzy gala in the Big Apple on Wednesday.

In front of star guests including Joan Collins and Meryl Streep, Will recounted times he spent with his parents as a youngster and credited them with becoming his inspiration.

He told the audience, "To me, Mom and Dad were the people who forced me to eat broccoli and to turn the TV off to do my homework. I never consciously viewed them as inspirations then, but their heroic efforts shaped who I am today and who I hope to become tomorrow.

"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 (Labrador).

"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. That is the most important thing that a family struggling with a member's disability can do: try to make life as normal as possible."

More General News