He is carrying on his parents' vital effort in the hunt for a cure for spinal cord injuries and providing care for patients who are affected by paralysis.
William Reeve, Christopher Reeve and his wife Dana Reeve's only son, opens up about his difficulties growing up after losing both his parents.
Christopher was injured in a 1995 horseback riding accident and was left paralyzed when William was just 3-year-old. It was not an easy childhood for him. He recollects, "The fact that he was paralyzed did present its own set of challenges because we couldn’t be spontaneous."
Despite being celebrities themselves, William says that his parents tried their best to remain "true to their values" and that he never felt "deprived of a normal childhood," reports PEOPLE.
William Reeve, son of Superman star, Christopher, delivered a heartfelt, motivational lecture on campus today. pic.twitter.com/kbzftpoDNo— Manhattan College (@ManhattanEdu) September 8, 2016
In an exclusive interview with People's List on ABC, he revealed, "They were the people who told me to turn off the TV, to eat my broccoli, to go to bed." He further added, "I understand that not every child experiences going to the grocery store and seeing their dad on the magazine at the checkout aisle, but … it was a totally normal childhood."
However, William hit a rock bottom when tragedy struck and he lost both of his parents within just two years. Christopher died of heart failure in 2004 when Willian was 11-year-old and Dana died of lung cancer in 2006.
In an open letter to his 13-year-old self, William wrote, "You're at the lowest point of your life. You're in a hospital room in New York City, and you've just said your final goodbye to Mom." He added, "You're 13. She's 44. Lung cancer. Never smoked. Gone, just like Dad, who died a year-and-a-half ago, which at the time was the lowest you had been. Now you're at a new bottom and you're terrified and confused and just so sad," per CBS News.
The actor still has good memories of his parents.
William recalls in his open letter, "You will always remember the good stuff. Dad in the driveway teaching you how to ride a bike just by telling you what to do, you trusting him so fully that you just do it. Mom's singing voice filling the air with sweetness at home and in the car to school."
In his open letter, speaking of what happens after one hits their low point, William wrote, "There's nowhere to go but up, and that's exactly where you're headed."
Life certainly took him up from that terrible time in his life. William was adopted by his neighbors and went on to become a great sports journalist. Most importantly, he is carrying on his parents' vital effort in the hunt for a cure for spinal cord injuries and providing care for patients who are affected by paralysis. Through the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, he and his half-siblings, Matthew and Alexandra Reeve, have been carrying on their parent's legacy.
William told PEOPLE, "I think his legacy is never going to go away and think that is a responsibility that I feel, to carry his and my mother’s legacy on for the rest of my life and hopefully beyond that." He added, "I think that the foundation is one way, one tangible way, that his legacy and my mom’s legacy will always live on. And I think the way that I, and my siblings, live our lives is another way."
Cover Image Source: Will Reeve/Instagram & Getty Images/Matthew Peyton