When Connor McGrath was 10, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. After a three-year battle, he died earlier this week surrounded by his loved ones, but not before meeting his idol, Ryan Reynolds, who paid tribute to “my friend” on Facebook. The Make-A-Wish Foundation brought them together, and Reynolds showed McGrath a very early cut of Deadpool, well before it was released in theaters (“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”). They even had nicknames for each other: McGrath was “Bubba,” and Reynolds, “Bubba 2.”
He went way too early and it’s impossible to reconcile. Connor was a great friend, a great son, and a light to the people lucky enough to know him. While repeatedly punching cancer in the balls, he made everyone laugh. Including the entire staff who cared for him at Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital… 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… 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. (Via Facebook)
In honor of McGrath, Reynolds recommends donating to Make-A-Wish, because he can “pretty much guarantee, your money’s going to a damn good place.” And, to put it into terms Deadpool can understand, f*ck cancer.