Last Tuesday, 13-year-old cancer patient Connor McGrath, the Deadpool super-fan who got to meet Ryan Reynolds and saw the R-rated superhero movie before anyone else, passed away at his home in Edmonton, Canada. On Thursday, Reynolds posted a heartfelt tribute to Connor, who he affectionately called "Bubba."
"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," Reynolds wrote. "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.
"It was the Make-A-Wish Foundation that brought us together. I can't thank them enough. Seriously. Thank you. Because of his wish, Connor was the first person to see Deadpool. I traveled up to Edmonton, Alberta to surprise him with a rough cut 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."
In February, after Reynolds brought attention to Connor's plight with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, an online fundraiser was setup to help raise money for a specialized cancer treatment, but it was soon halted when Connor's health began to decline.
"I went back to Edmonton 6 weeks later and I wish I could say things were looking up," Reynolds explained. "After my visit, I didn't know if I was saying goodbye or see ya later. Sitting here now, I realize it was both."
Reynolds and Connor had become such good friends that they texted almost every day.
"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."
Reynolds wrapped up his tribute by encouraging his followers to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, offering his "deepest condolences" to Connor's parents, and wrote one last message to his late friend.
"See ya down the road, Bubba."
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Connor McGrath.