By Tim Saunders on
The press sometimes gives celebrities a hard time, concentrating on their problems rather than celebrating the good things that they do. One recent victim has been singer Pete Doherty, who has been quietly helping sick teenagers – such as 16-year-old British schoolboy Dan Squires, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer last November – without any publicity. Doherty not only invited the boy to one of his Babyshambles gigs, but also struck up a friendship with him.
“I only expected a meet-and-greet, but I got my own dressing room, watched the whole gig from the stage, hung out with the band afterwards and then got taken to the after-show party,” said Squires, who suffered a stroke last month and is now confined to a wheelchair. “It was incredible what they did because they didn’t need to do that.”
“I took them each a friendship bracelet for what they’ve done for me, and Pete just took off the bracelet he was wearing and gave it to me,” he told Journal Live. “He had also brought a book and signed the inside cover with a special message. It’s just lovely. I couldn’t believe it. I feel very privileged.”
Doherty also dedicated a recent concert to Squires and pledged to help raise more funds for his treatment.
“All of us have just been incredibly inspired by the Squires family’s stoicism and Dan’s bravery,” said the band’s manager, Adrian Hunter. “And [also] how well he is dealing with the card that life has dealt him.”
Doherty also surprised concert-goers at a Teenage Cancer Trust concert two weeks ago, when his band took to the stage unannounced in London. He had designed a pair of sneakers that were auctioned by the charity, and rushed straight to the gig from Sweden.
“Teenage Cancer Trust has seen on a number of occasions how musicians can really have a positive impact on young people going through a hard time,” said a spokesperson for the charity. “Babyshambles have really helped Daniel through this very difficult period and have been such an inspiration to him. We’re grateful to Babyshambles for deciding to donate to us through their guest lists.”
And Daniel hopes to hear more from his new friend.
“Pete and the band have just been absolutely amazing and hopefully I will be able to stay well enough to see them play again,” he said. “They have given me the goal to stay well. They’ve given me hope and something to look forward to.”
Copyright © 2008 Look to the Stars