Young Philanthropists: Will Reeve

Following a horseback riding accident in 1995 that left actor Christopher Reeve, best known for his starring roles in the Superman sequels, quadriplegic, he, along with his wife Dana, founded an organization to advance quality of life for those who suffer from paralysis. Today, their son Will serves a leading role in the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, constantly advocating for spinal cord injury research himself.

Will Reeve (Courtesy of ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua)

Q: What inspired you to get involved?
A:
My parents were—and remain—my heroes and role models, so joining the Reeve Foundation board was a natural fit, considering much of my time with my parents was defined by my dad’s life with a spinal cord injury with my mom as his primary caregiver. My involvement was never something I really thought about; it was just something that existed from the time I was a young child, and progressed organically.

Q: How do your personal goals align with the organization’s?
A:
I’m driven by the belief that if you have the opportunity and capacity to help people in need, you are obligated to do so. I’m hesitant to use my family name for any personal advantages, but I will always proudly carry the Reeve torch in the context of continuing my parents’—and the Reeve Foundation’s—legacy of making a tangible difference in people’s lives.

Q: Tell me about your specific roles within the charity.
A:
I serve—along with my brother, Matthew, my sister, Alexandra, and many other remarkable people—on the Board of Directors, and act as an ambassador for the Reeve Foundation by speaking about our mission and accomplishments to various groups around the country. I am also captain of Team Reeve, which is our events-driven arm. We have people from all over fundraise under the Team Reeve banner.

Q: What measures have you taken to get our generation involved with the fight against spinal cord injury?
A:
I realize, as a person in his mid-20s with significant demands on his time, that it’s hard to dedicate as many resources as one would like to charity, and thus we all want returns on our investment if we are going to donate money or time to a cause, so I’ve taken on the personal responsibility to make any event we throw worthwhile for anyone who’s generous enough to get involved with the Reeve Foundation. A major goal of mine for 2019 is to establish a Reeve Foundation Junior Board.

Will Reeve running for Team Reeve at a recent marathon