Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)

Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

A text message from Ryan Reynolds almost tipped off Damien Smith to one of the surprises in store for his upcoming ninth birthday.

The text from the Vancouver-born celebrity, loved by Damien for his portrayal of the comic-book character Deadpool, was prompted by an emotional request shared over Facebook by the boy’s parents, Thomas Smith and Tiffanie Trudell.

In an Oct. 14 post, Smith and Trudell, who recently moved from Coquitlam to Canoe, explain how their son’s birthday is coming up on Nov. 24. Instead of looking forward to the occasion, their boy was feeling blue.

“We just moved to the Shuswap two weeks ago, and my boy’s birthday is coming up and I asked him, ‘Are you… excited about your birthday?’” explained Smith. “And he’s like, ‘No, I’m just going to be lonely.’”

Damien’s heart-wrenching response prompted the couple to ask the public for help in celebrating their son’s special day.

“Since moving out of the city, he’s been feeling pretty sad about his friends and our family not being around this year…,” reads the post, adding how with COVID-19 the family has chosen to not have a party.

“What I’m wondering is would anyone be interested in sending him some birthday cards in the mail?”

Soon after, the couple began receiving messages from people all over the world who said they would be sending cards. Despite the family’s request for cards only, gifts also began showing up. One neighbour dropped off a Sidney Crosby jersey. Another person contacted the couple to say they would be making Damien a Deadpool birthday cake.

Not long after a story about the card request was shared on the Salmon Arm Observer website, Damien was receiving visits from kids in the neighbourhood wanting to be his friend.

“All of a sudden we had these bangs on the door and there was a bunch if kids in our driveway and they all wanted to be Damien’s friend ,and we’re like, ‘Oh my goodness, word travels fast out here,’” said Tiffanie. “It’s a really beautiful community and we’re so blessed to be out here.”

Reynolds, who is known for sending special messages to fans, got wind of Tiffanie and Thomas’ story. He texted the couple at dinner time to say he wanted to send Damien a little birthday video. Tiffanie began to cry with joy.

“The boys were eating dinner and they’re looking at me like, what’s wrong with mom?” said Tiffanie, laughing as she sets the scene. “Tom’s like, ‘What what!’ I showed him the phone and he’s like, ‘Be quiet.’

“So we told Damien the reason mommy was crying was because we won a vacation but we can’t take it because mommy is pregnant. So Damien is all mad because we can’t go on vacation. And I go, I’m sorry honey, I’m so sorry.”

Thursday morning, Oct. 22, the couple were on the phone with Reynolds’ assistant, and Reynolds in the background. True to his word, Reynolds sent the family a birthday video for Damien.

“He was in the background talking to us,” said Tiffanie. “I guess maybe he wanted her (the assistant) to handle it, but he started saying things to Tom.”

The family plans to present Damien with the cards, gifts and the video on Nov. 21, when Bikers are Buddies members and others will be parading by their house to offer birthday wishes.

Overwhelmed by and grateful for all of the support, Tiffanie said she and Thomas have been collecting about 50 cards a day from their post box, many from Shuswap residents.

Tiffanie and Thomas plan on reading the cards together with Damien, who struggles with reading. They also plan on sending out thank-you cards – a lot of thank-you cards.

“Its’ going to be fun,” said Tiffanie. “We’re going to get them out – even if it takes us a couple of months.”

Anyone wishing to send Damien a happy birthday greeting can do so by mailing to the following address: Damien Smith, PO Box 321, Canoe, B.C., Canada, V0E1K0.

Read more:“I’m just going to be lonely:” Shuswap family asks for help celebrating son’s birthday

Read more: Bikers Are Buddies set up in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon Arm

 

Instead of having a party, Thomas Smith and Tiffanie Trudell have asked the public to send their son, Damien (pictured), happy birthday cards. (Contributed)

Instead of having a party, Thomas Smith and Tiffanie Trudell have asked the public to send their son, Damien (pictured), happy birthday cards. (Contributed)

Thomas Smith and son Damien share a laugh while posing for a picture. For Damien’s upcoming ninth birthday, instead of a party, Thomas and wife Tiffanie Trudell have asked the public to send their boy birthday cards. (Contributed)

Thomas Smith and son Damien share a laugh while posing for a picture. For Damien’s upcoming ninth birthday, instead of a party, Thomas and wife Tiffanie Trudell have asked the public to send their boy birthday cards. (Contributed)

Just Posted

Coast Mountains School District No. 82 acting superintendent of schools, Janet Meyer, talks about policies and procedures relating to the death of Diversity Morgan, a LGBTQ+ student. (Black Press file)
School District 82 to revisit policy after transgender student’s death

Diversity’ death has created a deeper resolve for CMSD 82 to continue doing the work they started

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Outside the Kitimat RCMP police station, Diversity Morgan’s family and Kitimat RCMP come together for a pride flag-raising ceremony. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
With heavy hearts, the Kitimat RCMP hosted a pride flag ceremony to highlight the RCMP’s commitment to inclusion and diversification, as well as honouring the passing of 15-year-old transgender student, Diversity Morgan, from Kitimat.
Speeches were given by Staff Sergeant Graham Morgan, Mayor Phil Germuth, Haisla Nation Chief Councillor Crystal Smith, and Diversity’s father, Mike Wilson.
“We are gathered here for the pride flag ceremony, but in my mind, we’re gathered here in solidarity for anyone who’s ever experienced prejudice or discrimination. […] Today we celebrate what makes us all unique individuals,” Mayor Phil Germuth said in his speech at the pride flag ceremony.
Struggling to get the words out, Crystal Smith, Haisla Nation’s chief councillor, emphasized her condolences to Diversity’s family in her speech sharing her similar experiences as well as acknowledging the need for education around these subjects.
Diversity’s father, Mike Wilson, said he wished that everyone was there under different circumstances but was grateful to see the turnout and the support from the community.
In honour of Diversity, the Kitimat RCMP also lowered their Canadian flag to half-mast, to bring awareness for people who are experiencing discrimination and are in need of additional support.
The Kitimat RCMP also stated that they will be lowering their Canadian flag around this time every year as a visual representation of LGBTQ+.
Kitimat Save-On-Foods also donated water and snacks for the ceremony.
Kitimat RCMP host pride flag ceremony in memory of Diversity Morgan

“We’re gathered here in solidarity for anyone who’s ever experienced prejudice or discrimination”

(Haisla First Nation logo)
Haisla Nation host walk for strength and series of virtual sessions for Indigenous History Month

The purpose of the walk is to bring Haisla Nation members together and show their collective support

The District of Kitimat will be awarding business owners with a store front up to $5,000 to cover up to 50 per cent of exterior renovations. (Norhtern Development logo)
The District of Kitimat is awarding $5,000 to storefront owners for exterior renovations

The district has set aside $20,000 this year and non-profits are also eligible

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Most Read