By Mike Miller
April 03, 2018 at 09:52 PM EDT
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Chris Evans is sending condolences to the family of a young Avengers fan who lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday.

“Damon had the kind of strength I only pretend to have on screen,” Evans, 36, wrote on Twitter. “He was a true warrior. Brave, selfless, compassionate, and proud. I feel so grateful for his friendship. Sending all my love to you and your family, Brian.”

The actor had been in touch with the young fan on social media after learning his favorite superhero was Evans’ Captain America.

Damon’s dad Brian announced the sad news on Twitter earlier today, writing, “Damon lost his battle with Cancer at 11:26am. Thank you for the Love, prayers & support everyone!” After giving a shout-out to Evans and Mark Ruffalo for their support, Brian added, “Damon was the TRUE embodiment of Captain America.”

Earlier this year, Damon wished Evans good luck after reading on PEOPLE that he was appearing in the Broadway play Lobby Hero.

“I’m laughing so hard,” Brian wrote. “Damon saw the @people article about Lobby Hero @2STNYC. He has some thoughts on Chris’s new look.” He added, “We are so coming to NY to see the play!!”

Evans responded to the tweet, writing, “So happy for you pal. You’re the real life Captain America!! And thanks for wishing me luck buddy!!!”

The duo had kept in touch since last year, when Evans first reached out via social media. In addition to their public conversations, Damon’s parents revealed Evans had sent Damon private messages as well.

“Chris Evans (a.k.a. Captain America) sent him a private message via Twitter,” his parents wrote on GoFundMe. “Won’t go into detail because Chris and Damon can have their own conversations. But it was wonderful Chris took the time to message Damon several times to see how he was.”

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