Ryan Reynolds is paying tribute to a young fan who died of cancer.
Reynolds took to Facebook on April 28 to pen a heartfelt tribute to 13-year-old fan Connor McGrath, where he recalled the heart-warming story of how the two met through Connor’s love of Deadpool, and a wish he made 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,” Ryan wrote in a message posted on his official Facebook page earlier this week, which also included a number of photos of Ryan Reynolds and McGrath spending some quality time together prior to his death.
“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,” Ryan Reynolds wrote, describing the young Deadpool fan as being a “great friend, a great son, and a light to the people lucky enough to know him.”
Ryan then went on to tell the story of how he first met Connor through the Make-A-Wish foundation, a charity that grants wishes for terminally ill children, and how he surprised the 13-year-old by taking a trip to Canada to fulfill his big wish.
Revealing that McGrath was actually the first person to see Deadpool, which Ryan Reynolds both starred in and produced, Reynolds shared the details of his trip to Edmonton, Alberta, where he treated the teenager to a viewing of a rough cut of the film before it hit theaters this past February.
“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,” Ryan wrote of the early version of the film in his Facebook post. “Connor didn’t seem to mind. And I’d never felt luckier to get to be Wade Wilson.”
“I went back to Edmonton 6 weeks later and I wish I could say things were looking up. After my visit, I didn’t know if I was saying goodbye or see ya later. Sitting here now, I realize it was both,” Ryan Reynolds continued.
“I’m grateful I got to orbit Connor’s world for a brief time. Grateful for the pages and pages of hilarious texts between us. Grateful to his parents for allowing Connor to spend time with a foul-mouthed child in the body of a 39-year-old,” Ryan said, sweetly revealing that Connor referred to him as “Bubba” and Connor called him “Bubba2.”
Reynolds, who’s expecting his second child with wife Blake Lively, then wrote in his sincere Facebook tribute that he believed the late young fan “was Deadpool.”
“We met because he loved Deadpool. In a certain sense he WAS Deadpool. Or, at least everything Deadpool aspires to be,” Ryan said. “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 went way too early and it’s impossible to reconcile,” Ryan added.
Ryan Reynolds also asked fans to donate to the Make-A-Wish foundation following McGrath’s death in his emotional message, telling his more than 2 million followers that donations will be “going to a d*** good place” through the charity. “They are heroic. Full stop,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds then signed off the emotional message, “My deepest condolences and thanks to Kim, Gerald and the entire clan McGrath — who loved this little boy so very well. And thankfully, Connor knew it. See ya down the road, Bubba – r.”
What do you think of Ryan Reynolds’ heart-warming tribute for young Deadpool fan Connor McGrath?
[Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM]