Dana Reeve loses her battle with lung cancer

The crusading wife of the late Christopher Reeve dies at age 44.

Topics: Broadsheet, Love and Sex,

“Good Morning America” interrupted its regular programming this morning with a sad announcement: actress, activist and mother Dana Reeve has died from a powerful strain of lung cancer at age 44. Though she was an accomplished performer in her own right, Reeve is perhaps best known as the wife of late actor Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed during a 1995 horseback riding accident. After her husband’s accident Reeve founded the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation and dedicated herself to the crusade for new treatments and cures for spinal cord injury and paralysis. She was a devoted mother to their son Will, 13, and a loyal and almost impossibly optimistic companion to Reeve until his own death in 2004.



The years since her husband’s death have been hard for Reeve. Last year her mother died of complications from ovarian cancer, and in August, Reeve herself announced that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer, despite the fact that she was never a smoker. Ever positive, at the time she said she “felt very close” to her late husband and thought of him as a “the ultimate example of defying the odds with strength, courage and hope.”

Kathy Lewis, president and CEO of the Christopher Reeve Foundation, released a statement to the press this morning in response to the news. No doubt, she speaks for many when she says that Dana Reeve’s “grace and courage under the most difficult of circumstances [were] a source of comfort and inspiration to all of us.”

Sarah Karnasiewicz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Until recently, she was senior editor at Saveur magazine; prior to that she was deputy Life editor at Salon. She has contributed to the New York Times, the New York Observer and Rolling Stone, among other publications. For more of her work, visit thefastertimes.com/streetfood and Signs and Wonders.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 10
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie

    A contemporary romantic comedy set to Elvis Costello and lots of luxurious and sinful sugary treats.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Welcome to Temptation" by Jennifer Crusie

    Another of Crusie's romantic comedies, this one in the shadow of an ostentatiously phallic water tower.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "A Gentleman Undone" by Cecilia Grant

    A Regency romance with beautifully broken people and some seriously steamy sex.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Black Silk" by Judith Ivory

    A beautifully written, exquisitely slow-building Regency; the plot is centered on a box with some very curious images, as Edward Gorey might say.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "For My Lady's Heart" by Laura Kinsale

    A medieval romance, the period piece functions much like a dystopia, with the courageous lady and noble knight struggling to find happiness despite the authoritarian society.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Sweet Disorder" by Rose Lerner

    A Regency that uses the limitations on women of the time to good effect; the main character is poor and needs to sell her vote ... or rather her husband's vote. But to sell it, she needs to get a husband first ...   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Frenemy of the People" by Nora Olsen

    Clarissa is sitting at an awards banquet when she suddenly realizes she likes pictures of Kimye for both Kim and Kanye and she is totally bi. So she texts to all her friends, "I am totally bi!" Drama and romance ensue ... but not quite with who she expects. I got an advanced copy of this YA lesbian romance, and I’d urge folks to reserve a copy; it’s a delight.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "The Slightest Provocation" by Pam Rosenthal

    A separated couple works to reconcile against a background of political intrigue; sort of "His Gal Friday" as a spy novel set in the Regency.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Again" by Kathleen Gilles Seidel

    Set among workers on a period soap opera, it manages to be contemporary and historical both at the same time.   Read the whole essay.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>