In the wake of Chadwick Boseman's death, fans are looking back on one remarkable case where he traded letters with young cancer patients during the filming of Black Panther. Boseman was secretly battling colon cancer himself for the last four years, though fans only found out after he passed. Now, they are looking with fresh awe on his generosity towards young people experiencing the same thing.
Boseman corresponded with several young Black Panther fans who were suffering from cancer during the filming of the movie. One resurfaced video this weekend showed him discussing those fan relationships during a cast panel with Entertainment Weekly, where the actor got choked up and nearly cried. One parent stepped forward to reveal that Boseman was talking about his son, Taylor, and to share the videos the two of them exchanged.
This is the first message Chadwick Boseman sent to my son in 2017. He had already been diagnosed with colon cancer, unknown to anyone. Amazing. 🙏🏾💜✊🏾😭 pic.twitter.com/2Tb4V2O8bN— Brian Hammond (@_Bro_Hamm_) August 29, 2020
"There are two little kids, Ian and Taylor, who recently passed from cancer, and throughout our filming, I was communicating with them, knowing that they were both terminal," Boseman said. "And their parents said, 'They're trying to hold on until this movie comes.' It's a humbling experience because you're like, 'This can't mean that much to them.' But seeing how the world has taken this on, how it's taken on a life of its own, I realize that they anticipated something great."
Taylor's father took note of the resurfaced video and shared one of the private clips that Boseman had sent to Taylor at the time. The casual, friendly video showed Boseman in a t-shirt wishing the best to Taylor. It then showed an ecstatic Taylor thanking him profusely after he had seen it.
Boseman said that he tapped into his own child-like sense of anticipation for Black Panther through his correspondence with Taylor and Ian and that the perspective helped him realize the gravity of the role. He then trailed off as he said: "And when I found out that they..."
Boseman left the sentence unfinished, taking several seconds before speaking again. His cast-mates reached over to pat him reassuringly, and director Ryan Coogler said: "take your time with it." Finally, Boseman returned to the microphone with tears in his eyes to say: "yeah, it means a lot."
Boseman's family revealed that from 2016 to 2020, he was enduring chemotherapy treatments and other procedures between his film projects, without letting anyone catch on. He passed away at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife, their children and other family members.