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Robert Downey Jr. Dressed Like a Tiger to Invite a 7-Year-Old Cystic Fibrosis Patient to the Captain America: Civil War Premiere

Iron Man may be super, but this time it’s RDJ who’s the real hero.

Image via Instagram / robertdowneyjr

For a guy who’s known worldwide for portraying a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, you’ve got to hand it to Robert Downey Jr.—he sure seems to relish being Iron Man. And who can blame him? Especially when he gets to play real-life hero to kids like Daniel, a 7-year-old who—Like Iron Man’s alter-ego, Tony Stark—has a medical condition that sets him apart from his peers.

In a recent Instagram post, Daniel’s mother explained that her son, who has a port in his chest because of his cystic fibrosis, was feeling down after an inconsiderate classmate told Daniel that “all children with cf die” (in fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, those diagnosed with cystic fibrosis can, and often do, live well into their 40s and 50s). To cheer him up, Daniel’s mom hoped that Downey might simply offer a few words of encouragement, since Daniel has long compared his chest port to Iron Man’s chest-mounted arc reactor.

Via Instagram / envy_coatings

As luck would have it, Downey saw Daniel’s mother’s plea, and upped the ante, not only offering some emotional uplift but extending a personal invitation for Daniel to join him at the May 6 premiere of the (virtually guaranteed to be a mega-hit) Captain America: Civil War. And the actor made these offers while dressed in a Tigger the tiger costume.

Image via Instagram / robertdowneyjr

Suffice it to say, getting an invite from his favorite actor to the premiere of one of next year’s biggest superhero films was enough to put Daniel in a significantly better mood, as captured by his mother (click through for video):

Image via Instagram / envy_coatings

Just goes to show that sometimes you don’t need a high-tech suit of armor to make a kid’s day; Real heroes wear fluffy tiger costumes instead.

EDIT: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Cystic Fibrosis as a “heart condition.”

[via themarysue]

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