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Dana Reeve 1961-2006


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'Superman's' Widow Dana Reeve

by Jim Fitzgerald

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Dana Reeve

WHITE PLAINS, New York - Dana Reeve, who won worldwide admiration for her devotion to her "Superman" husband, Christopher Reeve, through his decade of near-total paralysis, has died of lung cancer. She was 44. Dana Reeve wasn't a smoker but she announced in August that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Reeve, a singer-actress who gave up some of her own career to be one of the nation's best-known caregivers, died late Monday, March 6 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Medical Center, said Kathy Lewis, president of the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which both Reeves had chaired.

"On behalf of the entire board of directors and staff of the Christopher Reeve Foundation, we are extremely saddened by the death of Dana Reeve, whose grace and courage under the most difficult of circumstances was a source of comfort and inspiration to all of us," Lewis said in a statement.

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Dana and Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve, the one-time Hollywood "Superman" turned activist for spinal cord research after a 1995 horse-riding accident, died in 2004. Dana Reeve was a constant companion and supporter of her husband during his long ordeal and his work for a cure for spinal cord injuries.

She was chairwoman of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, which funds research on paralysis and works to improve the life of the disabled. To date, it has awarded $55 million in research grants and $7.5 million in quality of life grants.

She was performing in the Broadway-bound play "Brooklyn Boy" in California when she had to streak home to reach her husband's bedside before he died. She gave up the role for the New York run.

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An early holiday portrait of the Reeve family include

(L-R) Alexandra, Chris, Matthew, Dana and Will.

Reeve also served on the boards of The Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, TechHealth and The Reeve-Irvine Center for Spinal Cord Research and as an advisory board member to the National Family Caregivers Association.

She received numerous awards for her work, including the Shining Example Award from Proctor & Gamble in 1998, an American Image Award from the AAFA in 2003. In 2005, the American Cancer Society named her Mother of the Year. The couple had a 13-year-old son, Will, and Dana Reeve had two grown stepchildren, Matthew and Alexandra.

In addition to her son and step-children, she is survived by her father, Dr. Charles Morosini, and sisters Deborah Morosini and Adrienne Morosini Heilman. No funeral plans were announced. The family said donations could be made in Dana Reeve's memory to the Christopher Reeve Foundation in Short Hills, New Jersey.

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Dana Reeve 1961-2006

by Valerie J. Nelson

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Dana Reeve

WHITE PLAINS, New York - Away from the spotlight that their celebrity brought to the cause of spinal research, Dana and Christopher Reeve took a less-glamorous path through the corridors of power. "We spend our lives going through kitchens and riding on freight elevators," Dana Reeve once recalled of the near decade that she and her paralyzed actor husband spent tirelessly lobbying for stem cell research, a potential treatment for paralysis.

The actress' real-life role as the graceful and devoted caregiver of her husband, who became a paraplegic three years into their marriage, brought her worldwide fame that she found puzzling. She was no saint, she said, but a woman simply in love. "Of course I'm doing this," she once said. "What other option is there?"

Dana Reeve, a nonsmoker diagnosed with lung cancer within months of the death of her husband in 2004, died Monday, March 6 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, said Kathy Lewis, president of the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which funds research on paralysis. Reeve was 44.

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Dana and Christopher Reeve

After Reeve's husband died, she succeeded him as president of the New Jersey-based foundation. To date, it has awarded $55 million in neuroscience research grants and given almost $8 million to projects that strive to improve the quality of life of those with paralysis. Formerly known as the American Paralysis Assn., it was renamed for the actor in 1999.

Anybody would have "turned cartwheels for Dana Reeve

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