Ryan Reynolds became a real-life superhero for Daniel Downing, a 5-year-old boy from Plympton, England, who was told he had only months to live after doctors discovered he had an inoperable brain tumor.
The actor, whom Downing calls his hero, recently arranged a phone call with the child and even showed him around the Vancouver, Canada, set of Deadpool 2 during their 15-minute conversation that was all captured on video.
“How’s it going, little buddy?” Reynolds, 40, said over the phone as Downing told him he was doing “poorly.”
But the Marvel superfan’s spirits were instantly raised after he requested the pair switch over to FaceTime. “Ah, that’s awesome, what an awesome T-shirt!” Reynolds enthusiastically said, adding: “You know, I’m the only guy who doesn’t have one of those T-shirts. I need to get one of those.”
Downing lit up even more when his idol explained that he was in the middle of filming the sequel to his favorite film. “Yeah I am outside, you know what I am doing right now? I’m filming Deadpool 2. I’m about to walk into the set and shoot Deadpool 2,” Reynolds explained.
“As soon as Daniel realized, he asked if he could FaceTime him and then he was very, very hyper,” the child’s mother Stephanie told a local news outlet. “All the camera crew waved hello and Daniel had his Mr. Pool T-shirt on. Daniel was telling Ryan how poorly he’d been and how his friends had helped him feel better.”
On July 13, Stephanie was told patients with Daniel’s diagnosis have nine months to live, at most.
“[Ryan] had to dash off to film, but that was good, really — Daniel gets tired very quickly. I’m so happy for Daniel,” the proud mom said. “It’s something he wouldn’t normally have been able to do and he was so excited. He told all his friends and his teachers. It’s nice to see him so excited because he has been a bit down lately.”
A family friend of the Downings set up a crowdfunding page with a goal of £6,000 or approximately $7,813. The account has raised over £17,000 or $22,500 thus far.
“Daniel is the most amazing 5-year-old ‘young man’ you could ever wish to meet. Full of life, mischievous, polite, intelligent, innocent, and above all, loving. He is adored and cherished by his mum Steph, his dad Robbie, his brother Jack (8 years old), and Steph’s partner, Ady. Daniel has such an adorable character that he really fits the phrase ‘once met, never forgotten,’” the page describes.