Short Lived Fairytale
Dana and Christopher met in 1987 and dated for five years before tying the knot in 1992. Their son Will was born that same year. It was a fairytale romance until tragedy struck for Christopher. Only 3 years after they were married, he was paralyzed from the neck down after being injured in a horseback riding accident. The accident sent chills through Hollywood because the actor had been well known for his role as the mighty and unbeatable Superman.
For nearly 10 years, the couple persevered through the toughest challenges imaginable. According to Chris, "Dana wasn't being noble or fulfilling an obligation" when she remained by his side through the roughest of times. Dana believed that "you can wallow in it or you can create a new life and grow and learn from it." That's precisely what the loving couple did with every moment that they had - they continued to learn and grow together.
Hoping for a Cure
Dana and Christopher founded the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation and have raised millions of dollars for spinal cord research. Chris said "it's not the doing that counts, it's the being that counts" and had every hope that he might actually walk out of his wheelchair one day. The foundation's shining motto was "go forward" and everyone tried to do just that.
Christopher Loses His Battle
After nearly 10 years of living with paralysis, Christopher Reeve died in October 2004 at the age of 52. Dana vowed to carry on the legacy of his work and his message by continuing to raise money for spinal cord research.
Dana is Diagnosed with Cancer
As if the family hadn't already lived through enough heartbreak, Dana was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005. She had always been a non-smoker and had taken very good care of her health. She had been battling a cough that lingered for nearly a year and decided to have it checked out. She was shocked to learn that she had lung cancer, but worked fervently to fight the disease. She once said "life isn't fair and you'd better stop expecting it to be." Dana lost her battle with cancer on March 6, 2005 at the age of 44.