N.L. boy with cancer sees 'Deadpool' in hospital with star Ryan Reynolds

The Canadian Press
Published on February 14, 2016
FB
Actor Ryan Reynolds and Newfoundlander Connor McGrath pose together after Reynolds travelled to Alberta to do a private screening of “Deadpool” for the 13-year-old, whose family is fundraising for him to get an experimental cancer treatment in the United States.

Actor Ryan Reynolds says a Newfoundland boy living in Edmonton got a special advance screening of his new film Deadpool weeks before it was released to theatres.

Reynolds posted a picture of himself on Facebook with Connor McGrath, who he says has cancer and is also “possibly the biggest Deadpool fan on earth.”

He says in the post that he travelled to Edmonton about six weeks ago to show Connor the movie in the hospital, which he says makes the boy the first to see it.

Reynolds also included a link to a crowdfunding page that he says he donated to, and encourages others to contribute.

The page says Connor’s cancer hasn’t been responding to chemotherapy and that he needs to be in remission in order to receive a bone marrow transplant.

If the chemotherapy doesn’t work, the page says the money raised will be used to send Connor to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for an experimental therapy.

Connor’s medical team say his best chance is to be transferred to Philadelphia for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy. The treatment targets children who have relapsed and are not responding to conventional therapy.

“He’s my friend. I know lots of celebrities jump up and down touting a cause — and maybe I’m no different,” Reynolds said in the Facebook post.

“I love this kid. He’s the GREATEST. And he needs your help to get well.”

In the movie, Reynolds plays Wade Wilson, who undergoes an experimental procedure that gives him healing powers and turns him into the snarky Marvel superhero “Deadpool” known for his salty language and off-humour.

Reynolds said in the post that like Wade Wilson, Connor is trying to put cancer in his rearview mirror.

“Of course, the Deadpool was right up his alley because Connor’s the funniest, potty-mouthed Canadian mercenary I’ve ever met,” Reynolds said.

Connor’s mother Kim (Searle) is from southeast Placentia. His father Gerald is from St. Bride’s.

— With files from TC Media