August 9, 2005
‘Superman’ Widow Dana Reeve Has Lung Cancer
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -- Dana Reeve, the widow of "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve, announced on Tuesday that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
Reeve, 44, who put her own acting career on hold to nurse her husband after he was paralyzed in a riding accident, said in a brief statement she was undergoing treatment and was optimistic about the prognosis.
"I have recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, and am currently undergoing treatment," Reeve said. "I have an excellent team of physicians, and we are optimistic about my prognosis."
"My family and I deeply appreciate the care and concern of our friends and supporters and trust that everyone understands our need and desire for privacy during this time. I hope before too long to be sharing news of my good health and recovery.
"Now, more than ever, I feel Chris with me as I face this challenge," she said. "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."
A spokeswoman for the Christopher Reeve Foundation, of which Dana Reeve is chairwoman, said on Tuesday that Dana was not a smoker, but did not elaborate.
Dana Reeve won respect and admiration for her support of Christopher Reeve after a 1995 riding accident that paralyzed him from the neck down and left him confined to a wheelchair. Reeve died in October last year after a heart attack.
As a young actress she appeared on Broadway and U.S. television but after Reeve's accident she worked with him to rally support for research on the treatment of spinal cord injuries, including stem cell research.
The Christopher Reeve Foundation said its prayers were with her.
"We are certain that Dana will tackle this challenge with the grace, courage and determination that have become her hallmark," Foundation President Kathy Lewis said in a statement.
Reeve, who has a teenage son with Christopher Reeve, said she decided to go public with news of her condition ahead of an upcoming tabloid story about her health.