Captain America surprises local teen fighting cancer

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EL CAJON, Calif. -- A high school student battling cancer received an empowering message Friday from one of the biggest movie superheroes in Hollywood.

Captain America has been inspiring 18-year-old Ryan Wilcox during his long battle with cancer, and Ryan's dream has been to meet Chris Evans, the actor who plays his hero.

Ryan's classmates at Grossmont High School made a plea to the cast of "Captain America: Civil War" earlier this week on social media. In the Facebook post, which has been shared more than 3,000 times, students said meeting the movie cast, especially Evans, would be a dream come true for their classmate.

“He isn’t doing too well and this would be a major way to boost his spirits and, quite frankly, be the best moment of his life, if he literally got to meet his hero,” students said.

On Friday, students decked out in America gear were able to surprise Ryan with a special video message from Captain America.

“I heard you are a big Captain America fan. Good taste!” actor Chris Evans said. “Glad to know you are on team Cap. Just wanted to say stay strong. I know you are fighting the good fight.”

Evans also said he has been inspired by the teenager.

“It’s people like you, with strength like yours, that inspire people like me. So thank you, really, from the bottom of my heart," Evans said.

Evans, like Ryan's classmates, encouraged the teen to stay #RyanStrong.

“Thinking of you, I’m with you, stay strong, go Team Cap! I hope you see the movie Friday and enjoy it. Take care buddy!”

"Captain America: Civil War" is a new Marvel film pitting its heroes against one another. The movie opened Friday.

To donate to the Wilcox family, click here.