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

Jean-Pierre Antonio
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read