Season Premiere Of 'Breaking Bad' Dedicated To California Teen Who Died Of Cancer
If you wondered about the person being thanked at the end of Sunday's Breaking Bad, Kevin Cordasco was one of the show's biggest fans. He was also dying of cancer: The teenager passed away on March 11.
The 16-year-old from Calabasas would watch the show religiously from his hospital bed, according to the Daily News.
Walter White (Bryan Cranston) has fought his own battle with cancer on the award-winning AMC series, which returned for its final few episodes on Sunday night.
Cordasco's father, also named Kevin, told the Daily News, "From the first episode, I realized he connected with the main character. Bryan Cranston is diagnosed with what could have been a terminal illness, a cancer in the first episode. He then began to live his life. I think that Kevin connected with that character, moving forward and never looking back, never asking why... [Kevin] didn't let his cancer stop him from doing anything."
The teen had met the series' cast members and crew on several occasions and even ended up influencing a storyline. Unfortunately, he didn't live to see the words "Dedicated to our friend Kevin Cordasco."
"It was just heartwarming; I know my son was sitting there, watching it [saying] 'Mom, Look, I made it!,'" Kevin's mother, Melodie Cordasco, told the Daily News.
Melissa Bernstein, co-executive producer on the show, said series creator Vince Gilligan was "devastated" when Kevin passed away. He sent a letter to Kevin's mother, telling her he would dedicate the episode to her son.
As Bernstein told Calabasas Patch, "We do very few dedications. Kevin was just one of those people who meant a lot to the show."
Kevin, who peppered Gilligan with questions, even ended up influencing the series in ways we won't know yet. "I don't want to go any further than that because it would be a spoiler," Bernstein told the Daily News. "Kevin truly had an impact on the way the story played out in the final eight [episodes.]"
The teen had been diagnosed at age 9 with neuroblastoma. As he said in November 2012, "It's a very rare cancer, very aggressive." He listed all the treatments he'd been through, then thanked everyone who "stuck with me the whole way. I would not be here without all of you."
Kevin was thrilled when Cranston and his wife visited him at Children's Hospital Los Angeles last September. He posted a photo to Reddit, (where he went by the username "The Survivor"), gushing, "He stayed with me for 2 hours and we had really personal talks! He actually offered to fly me out to a filming in December! I will post if that happens :)"
Sadly, Kevin was too sick to go. "He tried so hard; he wanted to so bad," his mother told the Daily News. "It meant the world to him; they have no idea how they impacted my son."
Kevin didn't get to see how the series ended: Although he was offered a copy of the final script, he turned it down, saying, as his mother recalls, "I want to see it myself and I don't trust myself—I might tell people."
Bernstein told Patch, that "really touched Vince."