Wrexham’s Anthony Forde has expressed his gratitude towards Hollywood A-lister and Wrexham AFC co-owner Ryan Reynolds for facilitating a crucial second opinion that unveiled a more optimistic prognosis for his wife Laura’s inoperable brain tumour.
Laura’s ordeal began in the midst of the previous football season when she received a devastating diagnosis, initially deemed incurable, with a shortened life expectancy. The distressing news reached the ears of Wrexham’s manager, Phil Parkinson, and co-owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds. The latter, displaying a compassionate gesture, swiftly organised for the couple to seek a second opinion abroad.
The decision proved to be a game-changer for the Fordes. Laura underwent a biopsy that revealed the tumour to be a grade 1 Thalamic pilocytic astrocytoma – a benign condition. Though still inoperable, this diagnosis provided a glimmer of hope compared to the initial grim prognosis.
In the latest episode of the Welcome to Wrexham series, Anthony Forde opened up about the pivotal role Reynolds played in their journey. “It just didn’t feel like it was real. The gaffer told the owners about the news and they reached out. Ryan helped get a second opinion. It’s something that he doesn’t have to do, he doesn’t have to do that,” expressed the Irish full-back.
The narrative takes a poignant turn as it is revealed that Laura first noticed an issue with her left arm when her newborn was just three days old. In a recent Instagram update, Laura shared the ongoing challenges, stating, “I’m now left with the options to either get it removed (more surgery) or leave it there?!”
The emotional resonance of the story is palpable as Laura shares a heartfelt hug with Reynolds before a crucial match against Yeovil Town, a game that would eventually propel the Dragons one step closer to promotion back to the EFL. Anthony’s triumphant goal in that match becomes a poignant moment, lauded by executive director Humphrey Ker as one of the season’s “special” highlights.
Wrexham, currently positioned third in League Two, continues their promising form into the new season. The Dragons are set to face Gillingham at home on Saturday, with a renewed sense of purpose and unity fueled by the unwavering support of their co-owner, Ryan Reynolds.
In the unpredictable world of football, where triumphs and defeats dominate headlines, this tale of compassion, resilience, and a Hollywood touch serves as a powerful reminder of the human stories that unfold beyond the pitch.