It’s the rare piece of writing that can both use the phrase “punching cancer in the balls” and still bring a tear to the eye, but Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds seems to have pulled it off. Reynolds posted a eulogy on his Facebook wall today for Connor McGrath, a young fan who became the first person to see Reynolds’ R-Rated superhero comedy earlier this year.
“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, praising the 13-year-old McGrath—with whom he apparently traded “pages” of dirty jokes and texts over the last few months—for his courage and humor. “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. A running commentary/observational skill people are just lucky to be born with.”
Reynolds and McGrath were put into contact with each other by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, with the actor bringing an early cut of the movie to Edmonton, Alberta to surprise the young fan with a screening of the film. “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.”
Reynolds also expressed his condolences to McGrath’s family, and his gratitude to both them and the Make-A-Wish Foundation for bringing them into each other’s lives. “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.”
You can read Reynolds’ statement in its entirety on Facebook.