Nicola thanks Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds for their support

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A mum who lost her only son to brain cancer has given a personal message of thanks to the Hollywood A-listers who have supported her Fundraising Group.

Nicola Wharton, from Flintshire, met with actor and producer Rob McElhenney, who co-owns Wrexham A.F.C. with Hollywood A-lister Ryan Reynolds, on Saturday (27th April) to express the family’s gratitude in person.

Rob, star of Disney+ hit docuseries Welcome to Wrexham alongside Ryan, flew in to watch his club win 2-1 against Stockport. Before the match, he took the time to speak with Nicola and sign her son Aaron’s football shirt.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter) to share her delight, Nicola said: “Thank you so much @RMcElhenney. It was a dream to speak to you today. The support you and @VancityReynolds continue to show for #Aaron’s Army and @braintumourrsch is incredible. We are forever grateful!”

Nicola set up Aaron’s Army, which has raised more than £39,000, to create a lasting legacy for her son who died of an anaplastic ependymoma, aged just seven.

Football mad Aaron was originally diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy in April 2020 when he developed a face droop at the age of four. But further tests revealed the tumour and despite multiple surgeries, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, he ran out of options and passed away on Easter Sunday 2023.

As part of their fundraising efforts, Nicola and husband Lee organised a firewalk at Wrexham football ground, catching the attention of Rob and Ryan, who sent a surprise video message of support.

Following her meeting with Rob, Nicola said: “Ever since Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds donated to the Aaron’s Army fundraiser last year, we have been desperately trying to get a message of thanks to them.

“I was a complete incoherent idiot when I actually met Rob. But somehow, I managed to thank him for their incredibly generous donation. And as soon as I mentioned Aaron’s Army, Rob knew just who I was, and the sincerity in his face said it all.

“What an absolute gentleman Rob is. And Aaron’s football top now proudly hangs in his room, with Rob’s signature. Such a precious moment for us all.”

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