Ryan Reynolds is mourning the loss of his father James, who passed away following a more-than-twenty-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. The actor took to Twitter to share the sad news of his dad's passing and asked for donations to be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which has been working feverishly towards a cure for the disease since its launch in 2000. “RIP Pops. James C. Reynolds. 1941-2015,” wrote the star, alongside a beautiful picture of himself as a baby being cradled in his father’s arms.
The Vancouver native sits on the board of the foundation and has become close friends with its founder and namesake, Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with the debilitating disease in 1991. The Canadian stars have collaborated on a number of initiatives in support of the foundation, which has become the largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s research worldwide. Ryan famously ran the 2008 New York Marathon as a member of Team Fox and has used his social media presence to shine a spotlight on the disease.
Speaking with Today in 2014, the Deadpool star opened up about his father and how the Reynolds family rallied around its patriarch following his diagnosis. “It kind of galvanized everybody else to seek resources,” said Ryan, who is the youngest of four brothers. “For us, in a strange way, it’s brought us together.”