Chadwick Boseman's kindness and dedication to children has come to the forefront after his death on Friday at 43. Photos taken during Boseman's September 2018 visit to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis have gone viral, showing how much of a hero he was in real life. Boseman was secretly battling colon cancer at the time.
Boseman posed for pictures with children being treated at the hospital, bringing smiles to their faces. In one picture, he even did the Wakanda salute with one child in a wheelchair. "It’s not every day that St. Jude gets a visit from an Avenger! Thank you [Chadwick Boseman] for stopping by to bring joy to our patients and learn more about our lifesaving mission," St. Jude shared in a tweet. Boseman also shared photos with a girl named Mady, who celebrated her birthday with the actor. He also met Hayden, who told Boseman to say hello to his co-stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Holland, and Michael B. Jordan.
It’s not every day that St. Jude gets a visit from an Avenger! Thank you @ChadwickBoseman for stopping by to bring joy to our patients and learn more about our lifesaving mission! ❤ 🎉 pic.twitter.com/7RwPO7qgPD— St. Jude (@StJude) September 12, 2018
Following Boseman's death, the St. Jude staff offered their condolences to his family. "We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Chadwick Boseman," the statement reads. "Two years ago, Chadwick visited the St. Jude campus and brought with him not only toys for our patients but also joy, courage and inspiration. He was an incredible role model for our patients and children from all around the world. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time."
Hayden wanted me to say hello to two of his other favorite @Marvel heroes, Thor and Spider-Man, so @ChrisHemsworth and @TomHolland1996 - my boy says hi! Also had to add a Killmonger bobble head to his collection. @michaelb4jordan #StJude pic.twitter.com/EdGEF61yLU— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) September 12, 2018
Months before his visit to St. Jude, Boseman reflected on the importance of Black Panther for two children with cancer he knew. During an interview with SiriusXM, he said he was communicating with two boys, Ian and Taylor, who were both diagnosed with terminal cancer while making Black Panther. Their parents said they were trying to "hold on" so they could see the movie. "It's a humbling experience because you're like, 'This can't mean that much to them,' you know?" Boseman explained through tears. "But seeing how the world has taken us on, seeing how the movement has taken on a life of its own, I realized that they anticipated something great."
Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and it recently progressed to stage IV, his family said Friday night. Boseman never publicly discussed his cancer. His family said he underwent "countless surgeries and chemotherapy" while making his most recent films. His next movie, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, will be released on Netflix posthumously.