Ryan Reynolds proved he's a real-life superhero when he answered the call of a 11-year-old boy battling cancer and sent him a personalized message of hope.
This week, the 44-year-old Deadpool actor recorded and sent the clip to fellow Canadian native Brody Dery about a day after Twitter users, including two lawmakers, drew the actor's attention to a request from the boy and his mom to get in touch.
"Brody, it's Ryan Reynolds," the actor says in the video, which aired on Canada's CKPG-TV and was posted on Twitter by reporter Caden Fanshaw. "I just heard a little bit about your story and I wanted to send you this video and let you know that I'm thinking about you and I'm sending you tons of love and I'm sending you strength, whatever strength I've got."
Ryan continued, "Man, you have a ton of people in your life that love you so much. I know you've been going through it, I know it's been a challenge lately but you know something, Brody, you're jus the man for the job. So I'm sending you lots of love. I hope I get to meet you in person one of these days and hang in there. OK, pal, bye."
Brody, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments for stage 3B Hodgkins Lymphoma, was overjoyed to receive Ryan's video message and he and his family have watched it over and over, his mother, Randi Dery, told CTV News.
"His jaw hit the floor," she said of her son's reaction. "He keeps saying, 'I feel special – I feel like I'm the movie star.'"
Randi and Brody appeared together in their video request to Ryan, which Caden also shared on Twitter. "We are huge fans of you and even more so fans of Deadpool," the boy's mother says in the clip. "You are the coolest for so many reasons, right Brody?" The boy replies, "Yeah."
"When we're having a hard day, we love watching Deadpool," Randi continues. "The humor of those movies brings out the best of Brody and it brings out his funny side. COVID and cancer are really hard and we don't know what can be done but we wanted to send our favorite actor a message. Brody's the toughest kid that I know. He's tougher than most people and we didn't know who else to talk to. So we thought we'd send you a message. Right Brody?"
The boy replies again, "Yeah." His mom then says, "So, Hi Ryan! Hi Ryan! Hope to hear from you."
In addition to cancer, Brody also suffers from Crohn's disease. Being immunocompromised, it makes traveling back and forth from their home in Prince George to undergo cancer treatments at British Columbia Children's Hospital in Vancouver—an eight-hour drive and 1.5 hour flight—particularly amid the coronavirus pandemic. The family has traveled back and forth for Brody's treatments more than a dozen times. Over the past year, they've opted to drive to minimize their chances of COVID exposure on a plane.
Randi says in the video she and her son recorded for Ryan that Brody's prognosis "is really, really good" but that traveling between their home and the hospital is "really, really hard."
"This year has been full of ups and downs, but he's a warrior," Brody's mother told CKPG-TV. "The support for us has been overwhelming, the community has been unbelievable."
Ryan is known for his philanthropy and has often reached out to fans battling serious illnesses. In 2017, he FaceTimed with a 5-year-old British boy battling cancer while the actor was on the set of Deadpool 2.
Then in 2015, donning his Deadpool costume, Ryan met another young cancer patient during a visit arranged by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 2013, the actor paid tribute online to a teenage fan who died of cancer.