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Superman's widow dies
Dana and Christopher Reeve
Together again ... Dana and Christopher Reeve
 FULL NEWS INDEX

By CHARLES RAE

THE courageous widow of Superman star Christopher Reeve, who won worldwide admiration for her devotion to the actor through his decade of paralysis, has died of lung cancer.

Singer-actress Dana Reeve, 44, a tireless fundraiser for medical research, lost her fight for life on Monday in New York.

Dana gave up her career to care for Reeve after he broke his neck in a fall from a horse in 1995.

She was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005 — just a year after her husband died of heart failure.

And in December she said: “I’m beating the odds and defying every statistic the doctors can throw at me.

“My prognosis looks better all the time.”

Asked how she kept up her spirits up, Dana — a non-smoker — said she “had a great model” and added: “I married a man who never gave up.”

Her death was announced yesterday by the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which Dana had continued to run.


Fighter ... Dana was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005
Fighter ... Dana was diagnosed with
lung cancer in 2005

It has made grants of more than £35million for research into spinal injuries, and to improve the lives of sufferers.

Before her death, supporter Catherine Zeta Jones said Dana was “better than Superwoman, she’s Wonder Woman”.

Former US President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary said in a statement that Dana was “a model of tenacity and grace”.

It added: “Despite the adversity that she faced, Dana bravely met these challenges and was always an extremely devoted wife, mother and advocate. Dana was an inspiration to us and we will miss her.”


Proud mum ... with son Will
Proud mum ... with son Will

Foundation president Kathy Lewis visited Dana in hospital last Friday and said she was “tired but, with her typical sense of humour, always trying to make other people feel good”.

She met Reeve in 1987 when he came to watch her in cabaret. They married five years later and had a son, Will, now 13.

Dana was awarded the 2005 Mother of the Year award from the American Cancer Society.

Michael Manganello, Reeve’s former assistant, said: “Will is going to be surrounded by so many people who love him that he will be fine.”

He added: “Dana was an elegant and graceful woman, and left this world the same way.”

Kate Michelman, who worked at the foundation, said: “Dana recently learned that she was failing — but right to the end she was convinced she was going to pull through.”

 
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