Paul Walker's Brother: How I'll Keep His Legacy Alive
MEET THE WALKERS
Thanks to his work in the Fast and the Furious franchise, Paul Walker's love of cars and street racing was known by fans everywhere. That love was clearly evident from young age, as he and brother Caleb (right) offered Cody his first-ever driving lesson outside of their childhood home in Sunland, California, in 1991. It's just one of the many ways he influenced his siblings, who are working to carry on his legacy 18 months after he died.
MEN ON A MISSION
Paul built the non-profit Reach Out Worldwide in 2010 in response to the Haiti earthquake, and singlehandedly funded all of the organization's relief missions – including a life-changing 2014 trip to the Philippines, where Cody took the lead. "You put goodwill out there, it's amazing what can be accomplished," the actor said in a video celebrating the charity's second birthday.
A NEW TAKE
After Paul's tragic death, Cody decided to leave his paramedic job in Oregon to step in as ROWW's brand manager. In 2014, he put his training to good use, bringing the organization back to the Philippines a year after Typhoon Haiyan to provide free medical assistance and flu vaccinations to those affected by the disaster.
A 'NOBLE' HONOR
Cody, supported by Caleb (left) and Paul's Fast and the Furious costars Tyrese Gibson and Michelle Rodriguez, accepted a Noble Award, dedicated to celebrating humanitarians and the organizations they support, on his brother's behalf in February 2015. "[Paul] didn't want to just put his name on something, he wanted to be a physical force behind it," Cody said about ROWW in his emotional speech. "And that's what makes it so special to us and everyone that's involved."
Cody, pictured here with Paul after winning the CIF Championship with his high school water polo team in 2005, said at the Noble Awards that Paul started ROWW to "actually get dirty. For a lot of us, we knew him as 'The Vagrant.'"
When Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake in April, ROWW was on the ground within days to offer whatever relief its workers could. And even though Paul wasn't physically there to help first responders, Cody told PEOPLE that the actor's presence was felt every single day: "Paul would have jumped on a plane and asked questions later, and been there a day before we were there. That's who he was. He was fearless."
During their time in Nepal, ROWW workers visited some of the rural villages that had been hit by the quake, including Dalhalgoan (where Cody is pictured) and Dhande Sindhupalchok, which, because of its dangerous roads, had been completely cut off from supplies. "Overall, we treated 400 cases in 96 hours," reported ROWW's Felicia Knox.
In addition to continuing Paul's charity work through ROWW, Cody (middle) and Caleb have also helped keep their brother's spirit alive on camera, stepping in as body doubles on Furious 7 in order to give Paul the send-off he deserved. "It's bittersweet, but I think Paul would be proud," Cody said of his brother's final scenes in the franchise.
SHOW OF SUPPORT
When the ROWW staff was left reeling after Paul's death, his Fast family and fans paid tribute to the late actor, holding #Game4Paul, a live-streamed fundraiser that raised more than $100,000 for his organization.
Despite their 15-year age difference, Cody – pictured here on his 10th birthday – remembers his brother as someone who wanted to make a difference in the lives of everyone he came across: "He was a really great example to me."
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Cody and ROWW's Felicia Knox honored Paul at the unveiling of a mosaic in the actor's likeness at United Cinemas in Australia in April 2015. "Aside from acting, his daughter [Meadow, 16] and ROWW were the most important things in his life, hands down," Cody told PEOPLE, before adding that he just wants to do the best he can to "keep [Paul's] vision consistent."