Fans of the Marvel anti-hero are turning out in droves this weekend to see Deadpool, but only one fan can claim to have seen it first. That honor goes to Connor McGrath, a young boy from Edmonton, Canada, who's battling cancer.
On Friday, Ryan Reynolds shared the news on his Facebook page, along with a picture of himself posing with the brave lad. "About 6 weeks ago, I traveled to Edmonton Alberta to show Connor the movie at his hospital," Reynolds wrote. "Of course, the Deadpool [movie] was right up his alley because Connor's the funniest, potty-mouthed Canadian mercenary I've ever met."
In July 2013, Connor was diagnosed with High Risk A.L.L., a form of childhood leukemia, and he relapsed in May 2015. Last summer, Connor underwent aggressive treatments in the hopes of getting back in remission, which in turn would allow him to safely receive a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, Connor's cancer didn't respond to conventional chemotherapy, and the transplant was put on hold. On top of that, one of his remaining options comes at a staggering price of $800,000.
"At this time his Team applied for provincial health care funding to take him to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for the above mentioned Car T-cell therapy," states his You Caring page, "but sadly funding was denied because the therapy is still considered to be experimental."
To help Connor and his family reach that lofty goal, Ryan Reynolds made a sizable donation and encouraged his legion of fans to do the same. "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," said the Hollywood actor. "And he needs your help to get well. I've donated to help Connor and I hope you will too."
Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
Deadpool hits theaters on Feb. 12, 2016.