First person to see Deadpool is a cancer patient

Actor Ryan Reynolds says an Edmonton boy got a special advance screening of his new film Deadpool weeks before it was released to theatres.

Reynolds posted a picture of himself on Facebook with Connor McGrath, who he says has cancer and is also “possibly the biggest Deadpool fan on earth.”

He says in the post that he travelled to Edmonton about six weeks ago to show McGrath the movie in the hospital, which he says makes the boy the first to see it.

Reynolds also included a link to a crowdfunding page that he says he donated to, and encourages others to contribute.

The page says McGrath’s cancer hasn’t been responding to chemotherapy and that he needs to be in remission in order to receive a bone marrow transplant.

If the chemotherapy doesn’t work, the page says the money raised will be used to send McGrath to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for an experimental therapy.

“He’s my friend. I know lots of celebrities jump up and down touting a cause — and maybe I’m no different,” Reynolds said in the Facebook post.

“I love this kid. He’s the GREATEST. And he needs your help to get well.”

In the movie, Reynolds plays Wade Wilson, who undergoes an experimental procedure that gives him healing powers and turns him into the snarky Marvel superhero “Deadpool” known for his salty language and off-humour.

Reynolds said in the post that like Wade Wilson, McGrath is trying to put cancer in his rearview mirror.

“Of course, the Deadpool was right up his alley because Connor’s the funniest, potty-mouthed Canadian mercenary I’ve ever met,” Reynolds said.