Ryan Reynolds knew Connor McGrath for three years, after being introduced to him through the Make-A-Wish foundation, after Connor was diagnosed with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Connor McGrath unfortunately passed away this week at the age of 13, reports The Straits Times. Reynolds then took to his Facebook page to pen an emotional goodbye letter to the young Deadpool fan.
“For three straight years, my friend, Connor McGrath drop-kicked cancer…,” Reynolds wrote in the beginning of his letter, on April 28. “Not sure how… Maybe the cancer cheated… But the fight came to an end two nights ago. In my wildest dreams, I can’t imagine how hard this is for his parents Kim and Gerald – along with his extended family in Newfoundland.”
Ryan Reynolds visited Connor McGrath in Edmonton, Alberta, in 2013 when his cancer returned. Connor was also lucky enough to attend a special screening of Reynolds’ most recent box office hit Deadpool, which was a rough cut of the film still in the post-production phase. There were still things that weren’t finished, whether it be special or practical effects, but it wasn’t a problem for Connor. McGrath was technically the first person to see the film and it turns out he was a big fan of the character. During his goodbye letter, Reynolds humorously commented on the fact that he allowed a 13-year-old to watch such a violent and vulgar film.
“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.”
Apparently Connor had a pretty similar sense of humor with Ryan, seeing as both really loved the character of Deadpool. Reynolds compared Connor to the character, noting the similar traits the two share: fearlessness, dealing with pain, and having a dirty sense of humor. The actor gave McGrath the credit of being an incredibly funny kid, and not just funny for a kid who’s battling cancer. After that visit, Reynolds came back to Edmonton six weeks later hoping Connor’s condition had potentially gotten better.
“I didn’t know if I was saying goodbye or see ya later,” said Reynolds. “Sitting here now, I realize it was both.”
Ryan and Connor developed nicknames for one another, “Bubba” and “Bubba2.” Ryan was thankful he got to spend as much time with Connor as he did, jokingly thanking Connor’s parents — Kim and Gerald — for allowing foul-mouthed Reynolds, 39, to hang around their son. He also thanked the Make-A-Wish foundation for introducing him to Connor, and letting his fans know that the international foundation was the real deal and asking them to donate.
Make-A-Wish was very thankful for Ryan’s touching letter, letting him know so in the comments of the post.
“Thank you for… so many things. For this amazing, heartfelt remembrance of Connor. For your unwavering support of our mission. For believing in us and helping us grant wishes. We are so grateful for you, Ryan.”
The Deadpool DVD release date is set for May 10, with the R-rated film even being available on VHS.
Deadpool, starring and produced by Ryan Reynolds, managed to rake in over $350 million domestically at the box office and over $745 million worldwide, and is currently the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time. A sequel to the film has already been announced by 20th Century Fox, with director Tim Miller, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and Reynolds himself set to return. The actor will be starring in another action comedy that should be released this year, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which also stars Elodie Yung (Marvel’s Daredevil), Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, and Gary Oldman.
[Image via Facebook/Ryan Reynolds]