Will Reeve, the son of Superman actor Christopher Reeve and New Jersey native Dana Reeve, says that despite his family’s fame father’s paralysis after a 1995 horseback riding accident, he had a childhood much like yours or mine, for the most part. In an interview that will air June 18 on People’s List, hosted by Jerry O’Connell, Will, 24, said, “The fact that he was paralyzed did present its own set of challenges because we couldn’t be spontaneous. That could be difficult, but my parents did such a good job of staying true to their values that I never felt deprived of a normal childhood, even though my experiences, at face value, were inherently different from other children my age.”
Will, who’s now an ESPN contributor, learned how to ride a bike thanks to his father’s coaching from his wheelchair, although he was skeptical at first about the prospect. He said, “I didn’t believe it was gonna work. I’m terrified, but I have my dad’s voice behind me going, ‘Steady, steady, left, right, left, right. By the third lap, I’m smiling, looking at my dad, waving, and he’s smiling. That meant so much to him. Later on, I would race in him the wheelchair. He’d let me win.”
Will is now an ambassador for The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, based in Short Hills, and is committed to furthering the work his parents began. “I understand how important their story is to so many people, and, of course, it’s important to me and my family. My dad was obsessed with finding a cure for spinal cord injury so that he might walk again; he truly believed that he would. That is what sustained him,” he revealed.