After the Friday death of 43-year old actor Chadwick Boseman following a four-year battle with colon cancer, new details are becoming known about the star of “Black Panther” and “42” that are casting new light on the life of the up-and-coming actor whose life was tragically cut short.
Among these is the fact that while Boseman was battling cancer in secret, he also went out of his way to cheer up a young fan in Georgia who had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
Ian Hopgood was a young boy who, like many kids his age, absolutely loved Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa and his alter ego Black Panther from the Marvel superhero films. However, Ian was diagnosed with cancer in October 2016.
“There isn’t a treatment for the type of brain cancer he has, it is terminal, so we just really just make the most of every day and hopefully inspire others,” Ian’s mother Kara Anderson told Fox 5.
“Honestly, there really aren’t words to express everything he’s been going through and lately it’s been a little tougher, it’s started to wear and tear on him a little bit that he’s not like the other kids,” she added.
When Boseman made a stop for several hours at Ian’s elementary school in Atlanta, however, it put a massive smile on the child’s face – and excited him so much that the boy jumped out of his wheelchair to embrace his real-life hero.
Boseman also gifted Ian with a basket brimming over with Marvel gifts, including an action figure of Black Panther.
“We kind of go off the theory of laughter heals and joy heals, and happiness heals, so that’s how we live every day because we honestly don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring,” Anderson said.
“So, for him to have a moment like this, and be able to jump up, I was afraid he might fall, and run to him and hug his hero, is… there really aren’t words.”
Boseman, who hadn’t told anyone about his own diagnosis, was also extremely happy to be able to spend time with young Ian, and to chat with his friends, pose for photos, and sign countless autographs.
“Ian ran and gave me a hug; that is the best reception I’ve gotten as the Black Panther yet!” Boseman said, according to Hollywood.com. “Thank you!”
Boseman later emotionally recounted the meeting and conversations with Ian during an interview before Black Panther was released.
Unfortunately, Ian passed away on Jan. 8, 2018, and was unable to see the film about his favorite hero.
When the meeting occurred, Boseman was privately undergoing “countless surgeries and chemotherapy” to battle stage III colon cancer, his family said in a statement announcing his death on Friday. To his last day, Boseman never spoke publicly about the illness.
In Oct. 2017, Boseman seemingly hinted at his own private battle with his illness during an interview he did with Huffington Post.
Interviewer Matthew Jacobs shared a screenshot of the interview after the news of Boseman’s death emerged on Friday. In the 2017 interview, Jacobs asked: “You came off of one Black Panther project, did Marshall and then made another Black Panther movie. Did you bulk up, slim down and then bulk up again?”
“Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Boseman answered, appearing fatigued.
“You’ve been through the wringer,” Jacobs commented.
“Oh, you don’t even know,” Boseman replied, laughing. “You have no idea. One day I’ll live to tell the story.”
Boseman died at his home in the Los Angeles area on Friday at the age of 43 with his wife and family at his side.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said. “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at Contact@TheMindUnleashed.com