It’s still hard to believe that actor Christopher Reeve (best known for his role as Superman) died tragically more than 12 years ago from complications caused by an infected bed sore. The former action star had spent nine years as a quadriplegic following a fall while horseback riding.

His youngest son, William Reeve, who turned 25 in 2017, is not only honoring his late father and mother (Dana Morosini Reeve died of lung cancer in 2006) but also paving his own way as a broadcaster and activist. Though he lost his parents as a young teenager, Will maintains that he had a rather traditional upbringing. He completed college, pursued the career of his dreams, and works hard to uphold his late parents’ spirit of generosity and philanthropy.

Now the spitting image of his dad, Will is gracious, kind, and carries himself heroically despite all of his hardships growing up.

Orphaned at 13, he lived with friends

It’s hard to fathom becoming an orphan at age 13 and still managing to grow up with a good head on your shoulders. Will’s mother, Dana, reportedly got everything set up to make sure he’d be well cared for in her absence. According to People, Will lived with childhood friends after his mother passed. Though he has two half-siblings, Matthew Reeve and Alexandra Reeve Givens, from his father’s previous relationship with model Gae Exton, as well as other blood relatives, “Dana wanted him to stay in Bedford, New York, with the people he’d grown up with,” the magazine reported.

A woman who lived in the same small town praised Dana’s decision, telling The Mirror, “He’s an amazing child. It makes total sense for him to be with close friends with a child of a similar age. It was a very wise decision.” Years later, this courageous decision seems to have been the right one.

He truly had a Superdad

Despite the tragic accident that left his father paralyzed, Will revealed to Closer Weekly┬áthat Christopher was still able to teach him how to ride a bike, all through his own words. “He taught me how to ride a bike, just by telling me,” Will said.

“He couldn’t physically help me ride a bike, because he was in a wheelchair, but that didn’t stop him and me from having one of the quintessential father-son experiences.”

“He told me to put my trust in him,” he added. “I did, and I succeeded.”