03.05.2008Bryan Martins met his favorite band, Linkin Park, after he was diagnosed with cancer.
When Sterling Heights resident Bryan Martins was in third grade, he began listening to the nu-metal group, Linkin Park. It didn't take long before he became an all-out fan of the group and his friends all knew it.
One friend in particular, Elise DeLuca, remembered his love of Linkin Park and when things got difficult for her friend, she decided her gift to him would be meeting the band.
"In September we found out Bryan had bone cancer," said his mother, Cindy Martins. "His leg had been swollen and ached a lot."
The news was devastating to DeLuca, who decided she needed to do something to make things better. It took persistence and patience, but the reward was worth the wait.
"I sent Linkin Park letters and e-mails telling them about Bryan and waited," DeLuca said.
DeLuca began writing to the band in November and by January her hard work brought her friend some happiness in the midst of his fight. Eventually someone contacted DeLuca and told her where she needed to call.
"On Jan. 5, the manager contacted me, and gave me more information and asked how they could help," she said.
On Bryan's 14th birthday, DeLuca was able to give him the gift that dreams are made of. While in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy treatments, Bryan got a call from his favorite band.
"I just burst into tears when I found out what was going to happen," DeLuca said.
"It was really cool," Bryan said. "They called and I got to talk to Chester (Bennington, vocalist). They sent a care package and I got a signed picture, a CD, stickers. And it was all sent on my birthday."
Bryan also received autographed drumsticks and posters.
The Jeanette Junior High School student also received tickets to see Linkin Park live in concert. He and DeLuca were considered guests of the band, and asked to go backstage where they hung out with their favorite group.
"I got to hug Chester," Bryan said. "That was the best."
Bryan's parents moved to seats further away from the stage so that Bryan's other friends could join DeLuca and himself in the fourth row.
"The band was very cool and very down to Earth," Cindy said. "I think that's really important to say, because they really went out of their way and our understanding is that they try to do things like this at every concert."
DeLuca, Bryan and their friends are all still big fans of Linkin Park, and contacted the group after the concert to thank them for the gift. The group will be playing at DTE Music Energy Theatre on July 26 during its Projekt Revolution Tour.
"The News Paper" Magazine - April 2004