How Ryan Reynolds, Chris Pratt, and other Marvel superhero stars teamed up to make a teen with terminal cancer smile

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Ryan Reynolds, Chris Pratt, and Hugh Jackman cheered on Josh. (Photo: Getty Images)

The celebs who play some of fans’ favorite Marvel heroes onscreen have performed a super-kind gesture offscreen in the past couple of weeks.

Deadpool in the flesh, also known as actor Ryan Reynolds, responded to a mom’s call to send her dying son a video message and called on several of his fellow Marvel stars to do the same. Josh, now 17, has struggled with leukemia since birth and, since he was 15, brain cancer. He’s been diagnosed with glioblastoma, the same aggressive cancer that Sen. John McCain died from on Saturday. The median survival rate for patients with such a diagnosis is about 15 months, according to the National Brain Tumor Society. Josh’s mom notes in the bio for her Twitter account that she started the campaign, “On behalf of my son who has terminal GBM brain cancer trying to get as many celebrities to message him while we still have him with us.”

(It’s worth noting that actor Drake Bell, who provides the voice of Spider-Man for the Ultimate Spider-Man TV series, kindly tried to call Reynolds’s attention to the post, although Reynolds replied that he was already in touch with Josh’s family.)

In his message, Reynolds praised Josh for being so strong.

Spider-Man: Homecoming star Tom Holland, who plays Spidey, followed Reynolds’s lead and shared a greeting while “filming Spider-Man, far from home,” the actor said.

Chris Evans joked he was less than thrilled that Josh seems to be a bigger fan of Deadpool than the superhero he portrays in the Marvel universe, Captain America, but that he accepted it. Of course, Evans sent his own well wishes.

Chris Pratt, who takes on the Star-Lord persona in Guardians of the Galaxy, offered touching words. “I’m hoping maybe I can help put a smile on your face,” Pratt said. “I’m thinking about you, and I love you. I’m praying for you and for your mom.”

Pratt also reminded Josh to be strong.

X-Men‘s Wolverine, Hugh Jackman, kept it short and sweet.

And they didn’t even need a costume.

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