Dana Reeve Dies at Age 44 from Lung Cancer
March 7, 2006
People from coast to coast are mourning the loss of Dana Reeve Tuesday. It was only four months ago, just months after being diagnosed with lung cancer, that Dana was upbeat, energetic and revealed to "Extra," "I'm feeling great."
The world believed that the loyal widow would overcome her battle with lung cancer with her husband's "Superman" strength shining down.
"I've been responding so well to treatment," Dana revealed. "The tumor is shrinking and shrinking and shrinking. It's a big sigh of relief. I feel good. I'm making plans."
Dana Reeve will never get to follow through with those plans. However, Dana, who was never a smoker, will now symbolize a portrait of courage.
She lost the love of her life, husband Christopher Reeve, after a long battle with paralysis. In 1996, Christopher told "Extra" that Dana was his only reason to hold on. "She's never doubted," Christopher said. "She's never stepped back, and I feel that I owe her my life."
"Extra" has learned that Dana, even after Christopher passed away, felt the same way, telling us that her husband was helping her through her own tough battle. "I was married to a man who never gave up," she said. "It was harder than this, what he was facing every day."
Dana's personal and life-altering blows didn't stop there; she lost her mother to cancer just months before her own cancer diagnosis. And some of Dana's last words to "Extra" were moving and are now chilling.
"It's another journey, and I'm ready to be finished with the journey," Dana admitted. "We're going to get through this like we got through everything else."
Dana and Christopher's 13-year-old son, Will, was only 3 when his father was paralyzed. Now the young teenager will have to face life without either parent. Dana spoke of Will's resilience in the face of his father's death.
"One of the greatest gifts we could give our children are the tools to face life's inevitable adversity," Dana said. "He's an incredibly upbeat kid."
According to Kathy Lewis, president of the Christopher Reeve Foundation, Will is now, "In the loving arms of family and friends."
The Reeve's closest friends celebrated Dana's life Tuesday. Best friends Robin Williams and his wife Marsha said, "The brightest light has gone out. We will forever celebrate her loving spirit."
"Dana made the world a better place, and we all shall miss her song terribly," Susan Sarandon said.
And although Dana's tragically lost her own fight, we know that "Superman" and his great love have reunited somewhere in the great beyond.