Update: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow offers ride to ‘Captain America’ co-stars to visit Grossmont student
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Monday — One Grossmont High School student’s biggest wish may not be over yet.
According to Yahoo News, actress Gwyneth Paltrow posted on Instagram that she is willing to drive Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans down to meet 18-year-old Ryan Wilcox.
“Hey @robertdowneyjr and #chrisevans, want to take a road trip? I will drive you guys down. #Repost @hizrarejwl with @repostapp.”
Paltrow also posted a picture of Wilcox, saying "He isn’t doing too well and this would be a major way to boost his spirits and quite frankly be the best moment of his life if he literally got to meet his hero! Please share this to help get the attention of Chris, Robert, Scarlett, and the rest of the Avengers cast and try to make his dream come true!? #chrisevans #avengers #makeawish."
Both Downey Jr. and Evans have not yet responded to Paltrow’s offer.
5/6/2016 — The new Captain America movie may be getting ready to smash through the box office, but it’s a local superhero that had Grossmont High School going wild. 18-year-old Ryan Wilcox is battling cancer for the second time in his young life, and he’s getting the support of his fellow classmates and even "Captain America" himself.
Ryan was diagnosed with Leukemia a year ago. He underwent chemotherapy and had a tumor removed from his brain as a toddler, but after his cancer was in remission for 10 years, cancer struck again. Grossmont High School held a pep rally in support of Ryan on Friday, and he made it clear he isn’t letting his sickness weaken his will.
"Strength doesn’t really come from your muscles. It comes from your spirit and your heart and love," Ryan told KUSI before the pep rally.
If that’s the case, Chris Evans, who plays Captain America, gave Ryan a huge boost of strength. Ryan’s classmates at began sharing his story on social media, using the hashtag #RyanStrong, and it quickly spread across platforms. It reached far enough to capture the attention of Captain America himself, and Evans sent Ryan a surprise message the school aired during their Ryan Strong pep rally.
"Hey Ryan how you doing? Chris Evans here. I heard you’re a big Captain America fan. You have good taste," Evans said in his message. "I’m glad to know you are on Team Cap. I just wanted to say stay strong. I know you are fighting the good fight. It’s people like you, strength like yours, that inspire people like me. So, thank you, really, from the bottom of my heart. I’m thinking of you, I’m with you. Go Team Cap. I hope you see the movie this Friday and enjoy it. See you soon. Take care buddy."
Ryan, a huge fan of Captain America, was so moved he felt emotional following the message. "I want to faint, it was so awesome," he said.
His friends and family were happy to rally around Ryan, "We are doing good because Ryan is doing good," his father, Mike Wilcox, said. "When we see him walking around here, and his spirit, he keeps us up."
Ryan’s father was visibly moved by the support his brave son was shown by his school and Evans, and shared an important lesson. "Love your children. Enjoy every moment. They will keep you strong. Love every moment having them."
Brian Cushman, one of Ryan’s friends, found his young friend’s strength to be the real marvel.
"I know if I were in his position I don’t know if I could handle it with so much grace and strength that he has. You think about the struggles you might be going through or somebody else and you see somebody like that, so positive and upbeat all the time … It’s just awesome."
Evans may play a superhero, but the real hero in the building was Ryan. His colleagues walked up to the stage after the rally to shake his hand and wish him the best, showing touching support for one of their own. If strength is measured by heart, and not muscles, young Ryan Wilcox is a superhero in a class of his own.