Westlife fan battling cancer recalls 'pure happiness' at meeting the band in Abu Dhabi

Irish boy band called Dian, from Indonesia, to join them on stage during their concert at Etihad Arena

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Dian, who has been a Westlife fan for more than two decades, now has a special memory from the group she will long cherish.

When the Irish boy band announced they were bringing The Wild Dreams Tour to Abu Dhabi, she knew she had to get tickets, especially since seeing them perform live has long been on her bucket list. She’s been a fan of Westlife since 1999 when she first heard their song Swear It Again.

Now aged 39, married and with three children, Dian is still as enamoured of them as she was back when she was in high school. “They have great songs, catchy tunes, beautiful deep lyrics, amazing voices,” she says. “I also love to see their dynamic as a group, they are truly good, best friends and kind gentlemen.”

During the concert, she got to experience their kindness firsthand.

Dian, who is from Indonesia but has lived in Abu Dhabi since 2016, is currently battling breast cancer. She was diagnosed in June and has since had mastectomy surgery on her left breast. During the show, she had with her a small sign that read “today’s list” in the form of a checklist that had three items on it:

  • Fight Cancer
  • See Westlife
  • Take a picture with Westlife

“At first, I was unsure about putting the sign up. I was ashamed. But then I thought, there’s nothing to lose, just open it up,” she says.

“I held the sign on my chest, I didn’t want to cover any view from the people in the back. I was on the left side of the stage, not middle and not in the front row. So, I really didn’t know whether they could read it or not. When the guys moved to the side, I tried to face them so they could catch my sign. I think Nicky [Byrne] was the one who noticed it.”

After seeing her sign, the members of the band called her up to join them on stage, where they greeted her with hugs and signed her poster, much to the delight of her fellow Westlife fans in attendance. They also serenaded her as well as took selfie photos and short clips for her friends and family.

The touching gesture from the group is something she very much appreciates. “It’s been a rough year for me and this moment with Westlife is just pure happiness. It means a lot,” she says.

According to her pathology report, Dian is now at stage 1B. This means there’s either no tumour or it is two centimetres or less in size. Her lymph nodes are also clear of cancer cells.

“I can skip chemo because it will only benefit me 1 per cent according to the Oncotype DX test,” she says. “I don’t have a clear margin, so I need to go through radiation then continue with hormone therapy. I’m still in radiation therapy right now. It will be done by next week, Inshallah.”

While she continues on her journey, she also has a message for others also battling cancer.

“Keep going, keep fighting because you are so precious and so loved,” she says. “It’s scary, but there are a lot of good, amazing, beautiful things you will experience when you keep going.

“This Westlife moment definitely just gives me that.”

Scroll the gallery below to see more photos from Westlife's show at Etihad Arena

Updated: October 03, 2022, 4:18 PM
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