Wednesday 20 February 2019


Boyzone were thrilled to meet one of their first Scots charity patients on Glasgow - twenty five years after they first helped her make her dreams come true.

Shelley Cunningham first met the boys in Scotland at the SECC In 1994 during their first big tour of Scotland.

Shelley then aged 12 was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. She also had septicaemia and a form of meningitis.

The visit was organised by her dad, now the famous Les Hoey MBE who is behind Scotland’s Dreammaker charity and who was desperate to help his daughter meet her idols.

At the time no other charity would help fourteen year old Shelley to fulfil her dream.

Les who is currently looking for Kiltwalk volunteers said: “I made three phone calls and no one would help me. They said they were too big a band, so I had to do all the groundwork myself. Eventually I managed to get in touch with Mark Plunkett who was the tour manager at the time and he told me he would organise it on the day of the concert.”

Shelley had spent nearly two years in Yorkhill Hospital, after a bone marrow transplant following her diagnosis in 1992  and pop group Boyzone were new to the scene.

When Les saw how happy this made Shelley, he was inspired to give other children with life threatening illnesses the same joy, and so the DreamMaker Foundation was born.

Shelley said: “The first time I met Boyzonethey were all so nervous. They asked me how I was because they could see I was skinny from all the treatment.

It built my confidence up and made me think positively after the meeting. It was incredible to meet them again twenty five years later.

Ronan remembered our first meeting and Shane said to me I’d grown up since the last time. We had a great laugh backstage and it was so lovely to chat after all these years.

I talked to other families who were there and met some kids who were going through the same illness that I had. As one parent said it was good to see the positive instead of the negative things.”

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