Keanu cares for his cancer-sticken sister
(also published was a similar article on August 3, 2002 by a different author with scans, under the title 'Keanu's heartache')
Keanu Reeves delays filming and cancels his band's tours as concern grows for his sister Kim's health
by Peter Kent
The Matrix star Keanu Reeves puts the money-spinning sequels to one side so he can devote his time to his desperately ill younger sister
Keanu Reeves has put his career on ice to look after his dying sister. The action star dashed back from Australia-where he's shooting the sequels to his box-office hit The Matrix - to LA to stay by leukaemia victim Kim's bedside. Anxious Keanu, 37, has said he's prepared to put his own life on hold to support her - and he's been as good as his word. Filming has been put back on The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolution and he's cancelled planned Asian concerts by his rock band Dogstar.
'She's the most important thing to me,' Keanu explains. 'It puts everything into perspective when you face a situation like this with a loved one.
'She was always there for me. I'll always be here for her.' Kim told Keanu last January that this year might be her last. The 35-year-old horse trainer has struggled with the illness for more than a decade.
Keanu sold his house in Burbank, California so he could spend more time with Kim. He paid out £450,000 on a new home, with a purpose-built equestrian centre, in the LA suburb of Thousand Oaks.
Family friend and scriptwriter Chris Fowler says: 'She's the one woman who's always had Keanu's unconditional love. The guy is knocking himself out. He's waited on her hand and foot, cooked meals, tidied the place and prepared her medication. 'He tried to keep on top of his shooting schedule and he feels immense loyalty to Dogstar fans. 'But it's the family ties that presently dictate Keanu's actions - and the whole of Hollywood is willing him on.' Keanu has returned to LA twice from Sydney in the last couple of months to stay with Kim. 'Keanu's biggest fear,' says Chris, 'is that he might be out of the country when Kim leaves us. That's his worst nightmare.'
Earlier this summer, Keanu paid £17,000 to take Kim and several friends to the island of Capri, off the coast of Italy. 'Everybody had a ball,' says Kim's longtime friend Cathy Kozlow, a guest on the trip. 'Keanu's face was a picture on the flight home.
'His sister snuggled up close to him and whispered: "This is the best I've felt in two years." Kim took Keanu's advice to try yoga. He told her it would help her remain positive - and it did.'
According to Cathy, Keanu has used yoga to help him cope with the numerous tragedies that have struck him over the years. The actor was devastated when girlfriend Jennifer Syme died in a road smash a year ago. Nine months earlier the couple had been expecting their first child, but the baby - who they'd named Ava -was stillborn.
'Keanu has always believed he led a charmed life as a celebrity' a musician friend says. 'But in his personal life it seems heartache is never too far away.
'Kim's condition has deteriorated and it's got to Keanu after she's fought such a long and hard battle. It's like the life's being sucked out of Kim - and he doesn't believe she deserves it.' Postponing a flight back to Sydney, the actor recently flew Kim to France so she could receive innovative new treatment. Cathy says: 'Kim told him: "Go back to work," but Keanu was like: "The hell I will." 'He was absolutely straight with movie bosses and they've been understanding about his predicament.'
Keanu helped to raise his younger sister Kim after his parents' marriage collapsed when he was seven. 'Young as he was, he felt a certain responsibility' she says. Keanu was only two years old when his father Samuel Nowlin Reeves, a Hawaiian-Chinese farmer who trained as a geologist, walked out on their mother, British-born showgirl Patricia.
They last met when Keanu was 13. Samuel was later jailed, serving two years of a 10-year prison sentence for heroin and cocaine possession.
'His dad was never around and his mother had it all to do as the sole breadwinner,' says Cathy. 'Kim was his baby sis. A bond formed and it's never been broken.'
Later, however, Kim reversed the roles - becoming the driving force on Keanu's staff. 'She pushed him on when he felt like quitting,' says Cathy. 'He was struggling at times and felt like giving up. But Kim wouldn't listen. She told him: "You can make it as a star - and you will." Keanu even posted her words on his refrigerator.'
Keanu hasn't given up hope that his prayers will be answered and Kim will somehow find the will to battle on. 'The touching thing is that he's now whispering the same morale-boosting things to her as she said to him as a kid,' says Cathy. Their bond is so strong. He knows he's in the right place.'