Ryan Reynolds has introduced us all to a little soccer fan named Leland. He’s 6 years old and a fan of the Blyth Spartans football team. He also has Pre-Leukemia, and Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively are helping support him by raising awareness for his condition and providing links to how people can help.
JJ O’Donnell, a midfielder for the Blyth Spartans, posted the Deadpool actor’s message to Leland on Twitter as well as the kid's adorable response. An important note, the Blyth Spartans were playing Wrexham, the team that Reynolds and Rob McElhenney own. However, even though the actors and Leland support opposing teams, they are all in agreement that people should support the fight against childhood cancer. You can check out both messages below:
Ryan Reynolds what a man you are 💙Taking a minute out of his day to send Leland a message. Leland replied. @VancityReynolds 👌🏻 pic.twitter.com/bTvpqfQW8WOctober 14, 2022
When it came time for the match, Leland got to walk out with O’Donnell onto the field. The player said it was an “inspiration and a privilege walking out with him.”
Along with giving the little guy the day of his dreams, Reynolds and Lively are helping raise awareness for Pre-Leukemia, and providing resources for people to help support. The Gossip Girl star posted on her Instagram stories:
Also, along with his Instagram posts, Reynolds has been posting about Leland and how to help on his Twitter. He posted:
To be clearer, Leland needs a bone marrow match. By registering below, you’ll be sent a kit… You take a quick swab of your cheek and register to save a life like Leland’s. Takes only a few minutes. Let’s kick the shit out of childhood cancer please. https://t.co/ytmNqSZ9jwOctober 18, 2022
As the Aviation Gin owner explained, to support Leland people can sign up to do a quick test that will help match people with Pre-Leukemia to their bone marrow match.
The power couple is incredibly philanthropic. Earlier this year they donated $500,000 to Water First Education & Training, they also matched donations up to $1 million for the UN Refugee Agency, and in 2021 they donated $1 million to the ACLU and NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Now, they are helping raise awareness for childhood cancer, and as Reynolds put it “kick the shit out of” it.
One of the big reasons Reynolds became aware of this guy is because of his involvement in English football. He and Rob McElhenney own Wrexham and have been documenting their journey in the FX docuseries Welcome to Wrexham, which has been a part of the 2022 TV schedule and can be watched with a Hulu subscription.
The Free Guy actor also mentioned in his video to Leland that he has a daughter who is the same age as him. Lively and Reynolds have three girls, James is 7, Inez is 5, and Betty is 2. They also just announced they have a fourth on the way.
It’s really sweet to see the power couple supporting this little guy. They are both incredibly popular and loved celebrities, so to see them using their platform to help others is amazing. Especially with the recent announcement of Hugh Jackman’s involvement in Deadpool 3, one of Marvel’s most anticipated upcoming projects, there have been even more eyes on the actor and his social media.
I love seeing all the good work Reynolds and Lively do, and I’m so happy little Leland has been able to live out his dream with his favorite football team, and hopefully be on the way to finding a bone marrow match.
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Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor and resident Swiftie at CinemaBlend. She also adores (and writes about) Ted Lasso, rom-coms and whatever streaming series is gracing our screens.