Dana and Christopher Reeve
's widow, Dana
, announced on Tuesday that she is facing a battle with lung cancer this just two days after ABC News vet Peter Jennings
succumbed to the disease. "I have an excellent team of physicians and we are optimistic about my treatment," says the 44-year-old non-smoker, who opted to go public with her condition before a tabloid publication could do the same. "My family and I deeply appreciate the care and concern of our friends and supporters and trust that everyone understands our need and desire for privacy during this time." Looking to her Superman
-star husband, who died last October, as "the ultimate example of defying the odds with strength, courage and hope," Reeve says, "I hope before too long to be sharing news of my good health and recovery."