The Avengers cast surprises young fan battling cancer
They’re heroes in real life, too!
When 18-year-old Ryan Wilcox was diagnosed with leukaemia for the second time, his schoolmates from Grossmont High School of San Diego, California wanted to do something special to cheer him up and give him encouragement.
Using the power of social media, they posted a plea on Facebook addressed to the stars of the Avengers to surprise Ryan—who is a big fan of the film franchise.
Chris Evans, who plays Captain America, was the one to first respond to the students’ request: he posted a video dedicated to Ryan encouraging him to stay strong and jokingly thanking him for being on “Team Cap”.
But it was Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow who first stumbled upon the posts—which were appended with #ryanstrong.
She enlisted none other than “Iron Man” himself, Robert Downey Jr. to tag along with her and Evans to visit their young fan.
The heroic trio then flew to San Diego; their quest to bring joy was documented by Paltrow on Instagram.
Her first photo was of Evans and Downey boarding the plain. “Let’s do this #ryanstrong,” she wrote in the caption.
“I was like, ‘WHAT?!’ when I saw them,” Ryan, who had to leave school a year and a half ago due to his battle with leukemia, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I told them how much I liked them, and their movies. They asked me which one was my favorite. They are so awesome. This was overwhelming. It was great.”
Ryan’s mom, Amy, was just as delighted as her son was. She told the Associated Press that Paltrow told her their visit was a “gift from one mom to another mom”. Adding, “She knew how happy it would be for me to see Ryan so happy.”
The Hollywood A-listers simply hung out at the Wilcox house, took a couple of pictures and signed Ryan’s bedroom wall.
“It was really cool hanging out with them. That really picked me up,” marveled Ryan. “I’m going to get through this.”
You’re our new superhero, Ryan.
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