Robert Downey Jr. is pretty busy, starring in hits like “Iron Man” and “Avengers”, but he wasn’t too busy to take the time to send a personal video message to 7-year-old Jackson Tijerina, a second-grader who has brain cancer.
“Jackson, is that you? Hi! It’s Robert Downey Jr., but you can call me Tony. Thinking about you, stay strong, know that my prayers are with you, and also, you know, life is challenging. And you are just the man for the job. So lots of love.”
Jackson is a big “Iron Man” fan, according to his mom Amy, who spoke to the Brummer-Clark / World-Herald News Service , in fact, the boy even dressed up as the Marvel hero for Halloween in 2017. Coincidentally, Jackson also has his medical port in the center of his chest, which is much like the chest piece Tony Stark has to give him his Iron Man powers.
“(Jackson is) more than willing to show his port, and he does this little Iron Man pose,” Amy said.
Jackson has been sick for a while now. He was diagnosed in January 2016. “Within two weeks, he was in surgery and having brain surgery,” Amy told the Daily Nonpareil said last week.
Jackson’s family want him to achieve all the wishes he can while he can, and meeting “the real Iron Man — Tony Stark” was the last item on the list, according to Amy, who put the request out on Facebook.
Council Bluffs resident Sue Wheeler, has a friend in the movie industry and happened to see that Facebook post. “It just breaks my heart to imagine what that family is going through, and the pain poor Jackson has to endure,” she said. “When I saw his wish to meet Robert Downey Jr., I wondered if my friend had any contacts … so I thought maybe she might have a way to get to someone like RDJ. Lo and behold, my old pal pulled through!”
When Amy found out that Downey would send a video message, at first she didn’t even believe it! “I wasn’t sure it was for real,” she said. “But they sent it to me right away, and it was Robert Downey Jr. I was like, ‘Is this legitimate?’ And then, immediately after, I received a message that it was the real thing.”
But Jackson was thrilled. “He was jumping up and down, and he was smiling from ear to ear,” she said. “He was so excited and I was crying.”
As a thank you, Jackson and his sister sent Downey a special video message in return: “Thank you, Robert Downey, Jr.,” they said in unison.
You don’t have to be a movie star to make a difference in someone’s life. But if you have a means to grant a wish from someone suffering, and it’s in your power, do it, it’ll make a big difference!
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