Ryan Reynolds Honors Teen ‘Deadpool’ Fan Who Died of Cancer in Moving Tribute
Ryan Reynolds shared a moving tribute to 13-year-old Connor McGrath, a Deadpool fan who died of cancer on Tuesday night (April 26). Reynolds, who originally hails from Vancouver, first met fellow Canadian Connor and his parents Kim and Gerald through the Make-A-Wish foundation.
"For three straight years, my friend, Connor McGrath drop-kicked cancer... Not sure how... Maybe the cancer cheated... But the fight came to an end two nights ago," Reynolds wrote on Facebook message on Thursday.
Sharing some photos of his visits with Connor at the hospital — in which the teen proudly shows off Deadpool T-shirts possibly received as a gift from the actor — he wrote, "Connor was 13. But this kid... He was smart. He was funny. And not just funny 'for a kid' - or funny 'for a person battling something awful'. He was unqualified funny. He had that... thing.
"That thing you see in great performers or comedy writers," he continued. "A running commentary/observational skill people are just lucky to be born with."
Reynolds praised Edmonton's Stollery Children's Hospital for their care for Connor, and said Connor was the first person to watch a rough cut of Deadpool when Ryan traveled up to Alberta to surprise him with it.
"There were still huge sections with wires we hadn't yet painted out, jokes which weren't working (and still aren't) and green screens. Connor didn't seem to mind. And I'd never felt luckier to get to be Wade Wilson," the actor wrote. "***Before you jump down my throat for showing a 13 year old an R-Rated film, please know this kid knew more swear words than a British chef."
The two would text each other and Ryan visited Connor six weeks later, but his friend's health was on a clear downward trajectory.
"I called Connor, "Bubba". And he called me "Bubba2". We met because he loved Deadpool. In a certain sense he WAS Deadpool. Or, at least everything Deadpool aspires to be; balancing pain, fearlessness, love and a filthy (filthy!) sense of humor in one body. I wish he could've stuck around a lot longer," he wrote.
The Marvel antihero portrayer also urged fans to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "I can pretty much guarantee, your money's going to a damn good place. These people do not suck. They are heroic. Full stop."
Read Ryan's letter in full below.