Two-year-old McKenzie Reese loves the Avengers character, Hawkeye.
And after Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye on film, stopped to spend some one-on-one time with the little girl, it was clear she had touched the tough guy’s heart.
Organizers for this year’s Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience made it happen.
Salt Lake Comic Con president and Salt Lake Community College alumnus Dan Farr says the request to meet Renner came to his assistant. They in turn reached out to Renner’s agent to see if the actor would be willing to share a private moment with McKenzie, known as Kenzie, and her family.
After Renner’s FanX panel discussion, he went backstage for a private meeting with Kenzie, her brother and her parents, Michael and Camille Reese.
“We have an amazing team that helped put this together,” Farr says. “Jeremy was so kind and gracious, to say the least.”
Kenzie’s father, Michael Reese, posted on Facebook that Kenzie suffers from neuroblastoma and has only a few weeks to live.
“Kenzie even decided she wanted a snuggle from him. For those that may think that’s not a big deal, it’s been about two weeks since she has come to me for a snuggle,” Reese wrote. “During our conversation, as he was talking and being sweet with her, she had the biggest smile on. Kenzie asked to get down and happily climbed onto Jeremy Renner’s lap.”
Reese says the organizers arranged the private meeting with Renner because Kenzie is too ill to be around large crowds comfortably.
“It was one of the sweetest moments we have enjoyed over the last few declining weeks and we want to say again thank you to the many individuals who helped make this happen! This will be a sweet memory we will be able to hold onto and cherish,” he added.
Reese says Renner was teary-eyed by the end of the visit and they could tell he did not want to leave.
“It was a great 15 minutes with our family’s favorite Avenger!” he wrote.
Kenzie saw Renner briefly at last year’s Comic Con in April when the family took a photo with him.
Kenzie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma last June. It was announced on the family’s goFundMe page that her condition is now terminal.
The Reeses were not the only ones eagerly anticipating the reunion.
Renner posted a tweet before arriving in Salt Lake City. In his post, Renner called Kenzie “my superhero” — confirming that heroes can come in all shapes and sizes.
— Jeremy Renner (@Renner4Real) March 31, 2016