As many of you readers know we here at Clash of the Nerds have been affected by cancer in one form or another and we do our best to make a difference in the fight against it (especially childhood cancer). Through our site and our own personnel avenues we do what we can with various organizations, St. Jude’s, Make a Wish, Connor’s Cure, and Wigs for Kids. Our donations are modest to say the least but if a million people each donated a dollar then that’s a million dollars.
Anyways, speaking of Make a Wish, in no way will Nelson or I be some child’s wish but you know who has been? Ryan Reynolds. He was the wish of a a 13 year old boy named, Connor McGrath, who was a huge Deadpool fan.
Now, we’ve all seen the heart warming stories about the Make a Wish Foundation, but what doesn’t get talked about (and rightly so) that a lot of the children who’s wish is coming true are terminally ill. I’ve watched a ton of “wish” videos (many done by the WWE) and I’ve thought to myself, “wow, look at the good John Cena is doing out there, making that child feel like the most important person in the world” but also my heart goes out to everyone involved because a lot of times the child who’s wish is being fulfilled doesn’t have that long left on the earth and everyone has to put that thought on the back burner so they can make that day the best day ever. Much like any ER Doctor, those who grant a lot of wishes must have it take some toll on them mentally.
It doesn’t get talked about a lot but those smiling children we see do fall to their illness and it’s always heart breaking. Sometimes we hear about the aftermath, especially if it’s a particularly brave and charismatic child like Connor the Crusher.
Well just recently Connor past away and Ryan Reynolds was so touched by this child that he penned a goodbye letter to the brave young man, which Reynolds also shared on his Facebook page.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. http://makeawishna.ca/wishes/donate
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.
Well said Bubba2.
*we did not change or alter Mr. Reynolds’s letter at all. If you’d like to donate to any of the charities we mentioned above you click on the following links;