If there had ever been any doubt that Ryan Reynolds was truly a Hollywood class act, his latest gesture will lay that to rest. The Canadian actor made his way to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to meet up with cancer patient Connor McGrath, who is, according to Ryan Reynolds’ February 12 Facebook post, the “biggest Deadpool fan on Earth.” The young fan was also, according to Reynolds, the first to see Deadpool, weeks before it hit theaters.
— Global News Toronto (@globalnewsto) February 15, 2016
Ryan Reynolds went so far as to compare McGrath with Wade Wilson, the man who ultimately became Deadpool. It’s a comparison which McGrath has likely considered himself, given his affinity for Deadpool.
The private screening of Deadpool occurred six weeks ago, and according to CBC News, McGrath’s supporters have started a YouCaring campaign in order to help the youth receive a cancer treatment that has been deemed experimental. McGrath was initially diagnosed with High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or High Risk A.L.L., in July 2013, but he relapsed in May 2015. According to ComicBook.com, after undergoing aggressive chemotherapy, he was hoping to receive a bone marrow transplant, but the leukemia didn’t respond to the treatment.
McGrath’s cancer treatment team then applied for funding for him to go to Philadelphia for Car T-Cell treatment, but the request was declined. The Car T-Cell therapy runs a whopping $800,000.
Ryan Reynolds said he donated to the YouCaring campaign and was hopeful that others would donate as well.
“He’s my friend. I know lots of celebrities jump up and down touting a cause — and maybe I’m no different. But holy frozen sh*t-slivers, I love this kid. He’s the GREATEST,” Ryan Reynolds said. “And he needs your help to get well. I’ve donated to help Connor and I hope you will too.”
It would appear that Ryan Reynolds has gone well beyond what many might expect of a Hollywood star. The Deadpool star agreed to stay in touch with McGrath and has, since the January 8 private screening, exchanged several emails with the teen. McGrath saw Deadpool with only a small handful of people on January 8, when it turned out that McGrath was not able to go to California for the pre-screening arranged by Make a Wish Foundation Alberta due to medical concerns.
According to Global News, it was when medical worries intervened that the organization decided to bring Deadpool to the teen.
“We set up a trip for him to LA to see the pre-screening. Unfortunately, due to medical problems, he wasn’t able to actually make it to LA so we decided to bring Deadpool to him,” said Sophia Birchall, the communications and medical outreach coordinator at Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta.
— Variety (@Variety) February 14, 2016
The teen said he was astonished to see Ryan Reynolds standing before him at Stollery Children’s Hospital when he came down the stairs.
“I was walking down a pair of stairs and then he kind of like turned the corner and stood in front of me so I kind of just stood there like ‘whoa- that’s you,'” McGrath said.
While McGrath was stunned by how good Deadpool was — and the fact that Ryan Reynolds himself came to screen the movie with him — it seems that audiences would agree with McGrath’s assessment. The film has topped 300 as the biggest R-rated comic book adaptation opener and also broke the record as the biggest opener for 20th Century Fox. According to Screen Crush, the previous record holder was Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith.
Response has been so strong to Deadpool that Ryan Reynolds has already been tapped to appear in a sequel, and given Deadpool teased the appearance of Cable in a sequel, fans like Connor McGrath are doubtless anticipating the Merc with a Mouth in future Deadpool flicks.
[Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images]