ByHeather Snowden, writer at
Lover of bad puns, nostalgic feels and all things Winona. Email: [email protected] Tweet: @heathbetweetin
Heather Snowden

Connor McGrath, the 13-year-old Deadpool super-fan who Ryan Reynolds once dubbed 'the funniest, potty-mouthed Canadian mercenary I've ever met,' sadly lost his three year battle with cancer last Tuesday.

Life hadn't been easy for Connor, but thanks to real-life superhero Reynolds, he was able to watch a private screening of the R-Rated superhero movie before the film hit theaters and meet Wade Wilson himself.

Following the meet, the pair formed a heart-warming friendship, reportedly texting on a daily basis — and, on news of McGrath's passing, Reynolds posted the below touching tribute to the little boy he called "Bubba."

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.

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.

via Ryan Reynolds Facebook
via Ryan Reynolds Facebook

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.

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.

Back in 2013, Connor was devastatingly diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Instead of hanging out with friends and taking trips last summer, Connor spent his time undergoing aggressive treatment in the hope he would be well enough to safely receive a bone marrow transplant. Regrettably, his cancer didn't respond to conventional chemotherapy.

Reynolds continued his Facebook post:

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.

***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.

via Ryan Reynolds Facebook
via Ryan Reynolds Facebook

I went back to Edmonton 6 weeks later and I wish I could say things were looking up. After my visit, I didn't know if I was saying goodbye or see ya later. Sitting here now, I realize it was both.

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. 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. I wish he could've stuck around a lot longer.

via Ryan Reynolds Facebook
via Ryan Reynolds Facebook

If you'd like to donate to The Make-A-Wish Foundation, I can pretty much guarantee, your money's going to a damn good place. These people do not suck. They are heroic. Full stop.

My deepest condolences and thanks to Kim, Gerald and the entire clan McGrath — who loved this little boy so very well. And thankfully, Connor knew it.

See ya down the road, Bubba.

- r

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Connor McGrath at this time.

Donate to Make A Wish Foundation by following this link.


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