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Legends Metallica make dream come true for Kent teenager

11:47 18 June 2013

Oliver with James Hetfield

Oliver with James Hetfield

Archant

Youngster meets group and even appears on stage with them

Oliver with Kirk HammettOliver with Kirk Hammett

A Faversham teenager, born with a rare genetic condition, has seen his dream fulfilled after meeting metal legends Metallica - and then watching them perform live.

Oliver Mangion, 17, had his wish granted by the Starlight Children’s Foundation - a charity set up for children with serious and terminal illnesses.

Oliver was born with a very rare genetic condition that seriously affects his limbs and has resulted in severe kidney and urology problems.

During his life, Oliver has undergone over 40 operations, including the amputation of both his legs.

When Oliver was referred to Starlight for a wish, his mum Alison told the charity, “Oliver is a remarkable young man, who has gone through so much in his life so far.

“He has undergone over 40 surgeries and periods of serious illness with such a good grace. He has never let his disability get in the way of life.”

He told Starlight, “Metallica was the first metal band I listened to and they inspired me to play the drums. I have chosen my wish to be to meet Metallica as they have been role models for me since a young age.”

The charity jetted Oliver and his mother to Detroit for a three-day trip.

After watching the band perform, he got to meet the group - who posed for photos and all signed his prosthetic leg.

When the band’s Lars Ulrich heard that Oliver loves drumming, he invited the family to watch the opening of the show from behind the drums on stage.

He then moved to the side of the stage with the band kept coming over during songs to shake his hand.

The icing on the cake was when Oliver was invited on stage by Lars to play the drums for the final song.

Oliver said, “It was totally awesome and the best experience I have ever had in my life. Metallica were so kind to me, I have to keep looking at the pictures to remind myself it really did happen. I’ll never forget it.”

Dale Alexander, cadet chairman of his sea cadets unit, Faversham Sea Cadets, and the person who put Oliver forward for a Starlight wish, said, “The effort from Starlight that was put into Oliver’s wish was phenomenal, it has had an amazing impact on him.”

To refer a child for a wish or to make a donation, visit www.starlight.org.uk.

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