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Date: Nov 10, 2099
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From: Julianna []
Sent: Sunday, November 07, 1999 4:36 PM

I have recently read an article that says the backstreet boys will not met an ill child. I understand that they have thousands of those requests, but why can't they at least send the kids autographed cds, posters, and or other things autographed. These poor kids are going through so much pain and all they want is to met BSB-and BSB give them the cold shoulder. I'm so unbelievably outraged by this. At least make a visit to the hospital and see all the children that request/asked to met them. It wouldn't hurt them, they can spare the time to say hi to seriously ill children or at least give them a call on the phone. They obviously have no idea what they mean to a number of people. This makes me sick and I imagine other people out there feel the same. I'm very disappointed in the BSB-I've been a very devoted fan for at least 2 years or so now and this is the lowest thing I've ever heard from them. If only they could know the impact they would make on some sick kid(s)life..if only they knew. Very disappointed, Julianna Dapper

From: Linda Pires []
Sent: Saturday, November 06, 1999 11:51 PM

Hello everyone,

I realize that there has been a lot of bad press regarding the Boys and the little girl with Leukemia in Detroit. Well, i realize that it may be hard for her to not have her wish granted but i also don't think it is fair to place all the blame on the Backstreet Boys. I would say that majority or the time the management and promotions people book all their engagements..they don't. I think that if they could have had the opportunity to they would have. With the immense popularity that they have now, they are being tugged in many directions and sometimes its just not feezible. I would rather see them take an hour to rest or relax then burn themselves out going from event to event just to make the public happy. They are not perfect and definetly "sweeky clean" They are regular people in the spotlight and should be treated as nothing but. I have been a fan almost three years and have yet to have the opportunity to see them. I couldn't get tickets this year and school conflicted with the dates. I really want to go but i can wait. I feel for the little girl but i hope she sees past what the media portray BSB to be and see the true side or the picture.



Sent: Saturday, November 06, 1999 10:29 PM

Ok, I think it is so unfair that people are trying to make BSB look bad for not visiting that one fan that had luekemia. BSB have done so much for charity and their fans. They live for their fans. Just because they could not fulfill the request of one fan does not by any means make them horrible people. They probably had an already planned arrangement that they couldn't get out of. And sometimes the managers take care of that stuff and the BSB do not find out about it until afterwards. These five guys are some the sweetest, most generous stars in the world. They do so much for their fans and regular people who need a break. Brian helped open a YMCA in his hometown Kentucky, Howie has a foundation for lupus, and Brian has a foundation for heart disease. They all have numerous times met fans for tv shows, charities, etc. They can never make them all, they are not miracle workers, people have to realize that. Too many people focus on the bad, instead of the good. You very rarely hear about the good they do, but you always hear the bad and that's not fair. People need to give them a break and thank them for all the good that they DO do.

From: Lynnsey Fisher []
Sent: Saturday, November 06, 1999 9:06 PM

I am writing to inform everyone I can about the craziness that has been taking place in the lives of fans and of the Boys themselves the past week. Actually, I'm maintaining my focus on one milestone in particular; Morgan Zalewski.

When I first heard about the story of the Boys and this poor little girl, I was outraged. For two reasons.

One: The fact that I am a more than devoted fan of the Backstreet Boys only increased my curiousity to find out more about this before I could direct my anger towards them or anyone else. Before I pointed fingers at who's fault the little girl's wish couldn't be granted was, I made sure I knew as much as I could about both sides of the story.

Two: It seemed as though I was the only one who was doing this. I woke up to hearing the news on a local radio station and the words 'Backstreet Boys refused to see a little sick girl' hit my ears. That was the first time I heard it. When I came home from school, I had a phone call from a friend that told me to check our local newspaper. I opened the paper to see -


A 5-year-old girl undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia had one wish - to meet the Backstreet Boys when they perform in suburban Detroit this weekend. But the pop quintet refused Morgan Zaleweski's request, which was made on her behalf by The Rainbow connection, an association that grants the wishes of dying and seriously ill children. "We used every source we possibly could," said Patricia Flack, director of The Rainbow Connection. The group gets "thousands and thousands of requests" daily from organizations like The Rainbow Connection and can't possibly grant them all, said Marcee Rondan, vice president of MSO, the Los Angleles-based firm that handles publicity for the Backstreet Boys.

This article didn't help my anger. First of all, why can't people wait until they hear what the guys themselves have to say about it before they completely change their thoughts on them. If you ask me, blame the publicist based on the article above. Sure they get 'thousands and thousands of requests' from organizations....but they don't get thousands and thousands of requests everyday to visit a dying girl. People don't understand that what the publicists say could be and most likely are completely different thoughts and feelings than what the guys have. I do not know the Backstreet Boys personally (although I'd love to) and have never even seen them in concert. But from what I do know of them, they are not the type of people who turn away a dying child 'just because'. If they couldn't do it, they couldn't do it and they can't help it.

Did I mention the reason that everything about them in the press is making everyone think differently towards them? One simple little word that you see and hear in every report about this recent happening. The word "refuse". Need I say more? That makes ANYONE sound rude and uncaring when they "refuse" to see someone or do something. It would be a completely different situation if they had indeed 'refused' to do it, when it all boils down to them just basically not being available, although I know in my heart and in my mind that they would have if they could have.

Now don't get me wrong, my thoughts and prayers go out towards the little girl. Think about her for a second. If she loves the guys as much as we all do, how do you think the whole thing is making HER feel? Yes, it had to have been heartbreaking to hear that the Boys (once again) 'refused' to go see her. This little girl is five years old, and something like that won't change her feelings towards the Boys. How is the media and everything making HER feel knowing that her favorite group is going down the toilet because of everything that's happening? I dont know about you, but for already being sick that wouldn't make me feel too much better.

I'm not blaming the guys for 'refusing' to see this little girl, and I am not blaming the little girl for whatever may or may not happen to the guys, I guess you could say the moral or my story is: Make sure you know the whole story (both sides) before you go on blaming, pointing fingers, and changing minds. Take it from both sides. If you think about it long enough, you would realize that Brian Littrell himself was sick and close to death. Do you think he, of ALL people, would 'refuse' to see another child who is as sick as he once was? Doesn't make much sense does it? All the more reason to take the time and think about what you're doing and the decisions you're making before you make them.

~Lynnsey Fisher~

The fans are supporting the boys over at as well!

Reader response

Hi, I just wanted to state my opinion on this whole Backstreet Boys story. I am very upset with the media over this. They have just taken this little info and run with it trying to ruin the credibility of the BSB. The media never focuses on the good things the boys do such as Brian's foundation and all the work they have done with the Make a Wish foundation. The Media has just run with this story only taking one side and not getting all the facts. That is bad publicity for the BSB that could harm them. The BSB are not God and can not make every single person in the world happy. They can't make the ill children happy while keeping the healthy kids happy too.

I just don't understand why the media always tries to bring them down but we true bsb fans know that the BSB do good things for many people. I just get upset when everyone tries to bring them down all the time and never focuses on the good things. BSB are a great group of guys and deserve better then this. I just wanted to state my opinion on this whole thing.

Kristin Dalton

Reader response

Hello I am emailing you because of all the stuff you've been saying about the Backstreet Boys.

I am a huge Backstreet Boys fan, i think they are great there music is wonderful and they do anything the can for their fans, and charities.

The one thing i cant stand about magazines is when they turn their backs on groups, bands, and people.The minute someone does something wrong you print it that second.

The newest story is about the Backstreet Boys not meeting a little girl who is sick. Ok lets look at the facts: The Backstreet Boys are the biggest group in the world right now, with the biggest fan base, and they are currently on their North American tour.They get hundreds of request like that,do you even think for one minute they have time to meet every child that is sick. Do you ever compliment the Backstreet Boys for all the good they do??...NO...

You bash them when they do something you think is wrong but you never talk about the good things they do..Charities, you know that Brian Littrell has two charities one of them is his Endowment for children who have heart defects and need money to get surgery so they can live a good life, and his newest charity which he hooked up with the YMCA to do, its the Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club for Kids.

Howie Dorough also has a charity in name of his sister its called the Caroline Dorough-Cohran Lupus Memorial Foundation..They do all they can for charities they were recently on VH1's save the music, they did many charity songs the most popular song was" Let the Music Heal Your Soul" which was a collaboration, they helped out in sadd i have the picture to prove it.

There are many more, but my point is i never heard you guys talk about that, the charities they do to help out.

Before you write a story thats against groups such as the backstreet boys think about all the good things they do before you bash them, and TRY to ruin there name.Thank you for all your time.


Reader response

Too bad there is not a way to clone BSB to make it possible for them to do everything they need to do.

Even the president and CEO of "The Make a Wish Foundation" is commending the groups efforts to fulfill children's wishes. She knows as everyone should, that it is not humanly possible to get to all the people that request meeting them, but even she said they do their very best.

Honestly, judging from their past history, these are 5 good people who would never do anything to intentionally snub or hurt someone.

It seems to me like the media is using this as a way to bring them down.

Anytime a celebrity or a famous group reach the pinnacle of their success, the press starts looking for any little thing to plant a seed to undermine them. I feel they are getting a bad rap on this.

Before we magnify one bad incident, why don't we concentrate on the hundreds of good ones.

Sincerely, Carla Burns

Reader response

Dear Editor:I am writing to you regarding your recent article about the Backstreet Boys refusal to meet a sick child during their upcoming visit to Detroit.

I am a 39 year-old professional and a mother of 3 daughters who are all huge fans of these guys. I was extremely disappointed in your one-sided, bias view of the boys and their failure to make this one child's wish come true.

No where was it mentioned that the BSB recently made dreams come true for other sick children they met with in Portland and Salt Lake City. Even more important, but obviously not newsworthy to you, is that the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America recently awarded the Backstreet Boys with their 1999 Celebrity Wish Grantors of the Year Award for all their effort on behalf of kids faced with terminal illnesses.

The Backstreet Boys also have set-up a charity to support the Lupus Foundation and a foundation to support Healthy Heart for Kids. Is this not an indication to you how much they are willing to do for a lot of sick and dying children.

These guys are in the midst of the biggest concert tour of 1999 and yet they still make time for their fans. However, they can't possibly be expected to honor every request that comes their way. My understanding is that this little girl will be attending one of their Detroit concerts.

I'm sure it will be a night she will never forget. I was lucky enough to get tickets for my family and we saw how awesome their concert is during their show October 14 in Anaheim, CA. It was a non-stop, action packed show that was by far the best concert my husband and I had ever attended. It was a night my daughters will always remember.

This has to be the hardest working group in the business and yet they are treated with such disrespect. You don't have to like their music, but I would hope that a reputable news organization such as yourselves could show some respect when it is due and not report such negative stuff without a thorough research of the facts.

As a mother I feel for this child but we must be realistic. Her father was wrong to sell this story to the news agencies and you were wrong to exploit it. I would hope to see another article showing the other side of this story but when it comes to the media I don't expect much.

You must know by now that when you slam the boys, their legion of fans will respond. We will always KTBSPA!

Sincerely,Lisa Grant

Reader response

Dear the Editor, I'm writing this email regarding the "dish of the day" about the backstreet boys. I would like to tell you my ideas on the subject .

To be honest,I'm their fan,but I don't mean I'm gonna say something to protect them just because I'm their fan. All I wanna say is the truth, I don't wanna see the rumors (about the boys are cold-hearted or bad or whatever) spreading over the net and the world.

Well,yep,it's true the boys refused to see the little ill girl Morgan Zalewski,but they are not what you think.They wish they could make the little's dream come true and make the girl happy,but due to their tour and their schedule,they can't visit the girl.

Although they can't visit the girl personally,the girl can still go to the concert. She can still see the boys and I personally think it's really lucky she can go to their concert. Many of their fans(like me) didn't have the chance to see them in the concert. They didn't get the tickets and they are also very disappointed about that.

Anyway,apart from this,the boys also do many charity works. Let's take Brian as an example.In 1998, he had a heart surgery and from then on,he started a foundation for children(I'm not sure it's for children or for adults or for both) who're suffering from heart diseases.

Besides, many fans wanna send them presents and do you know what he told his fans to do? He told his fans to donate the money to his foundation instead of buying gifts fro the boys.The boys know there are people in the world who need help help and sometimes they do donate money to charities.

I'm sure the boys are warm-hearted.They are not bad and they have great personalties.And most importantly,they do feel sorry for the sad stuffs.

They are not what you think.You know,they have many requests and it's hard for them to accept all the requests.They are busy guys and they don't have much time,so...drop this. No more criticisms.They have done their best to satisfy everyone.

I'm sure if they have time and the schedule permit them to see the lil girl,they'll do so and to show their concerns to the girl.

Anyway,I hope people will stop criticizing them and remember,it's not their fault.They have the management.Sometimes they can't do things which they want to do. We need to understand them. The Boys are human beings like you and me,they have feelings too. It's not they don't wanna see the girl,but they dont have time to do so.If we still criticize them,it's hurt their feelings.If people criticize you cuz you dont have time to do a job, what'll you feel?

Yours faithfully, Yenny Skipper

Reader response

Hello, my name is Marley Deifer and I am 13 years old. I know that you are already thinking, oh look, another teenybopper, and that you plan to stop reading after this sentence to throw this email away. Before you jump to stereo-typical conclusions set by society, that I am not 'old enough to count,' and that I am just another teen with no reason for obsession, please read this.

Several days ago, I recall a countless number of posts on Messageboards, Stories on the News and in several magazines saying that the Backstreet Boys refused to meet with a sick little child that was 5 years old and dying of Cancer. My first reaction, as a dedicated fan, was 'Oh, I'm sure management did that, not the Boys!' As reports followed, I became wary of how geniune the Backstreet Boys really were.

I did not like the fact that the Backstreet Boys would do something like this. After about a day of depression, I realized that there really are a countless amount, sadly enough, of children that are slowly slipping away from life.

If the Backstreet Boys could visit these children, I know that they would. It is though, impossible with their tour schedule, and other apperances they are required to make. If they were to stray from this schedule, that would require contract breaking.

Im sure the Boys care about their fans, it's shows in everything they do. Also, the reports that everyone has been hearing are wrong.

The child is not 5 years old, but 12. I know it doesn't make a difference and that a child is a child like me, but if you heard a story about a group that wasn't able to see a sick child, that was 13, you would be upset.

Now, if you saw the same story but with a person that was 24, of course you feel more pity and remorse for the 13 year old. I'm very sorry that the child did not meet them, but I know that she does not have any ambivalent feelings toward them since she was and is a fan.

I did not appreciate the fact that the Media decided to change the facts to form a story that was not really the story to begin with. Also, the Boys did meet an ailing fan last week in Salt Lake City. They met a girl who has a brain tumor.

She lives about 2 hours away from Salt Lake, and not only did the boys meet her, but they had her whole entire family brought to the Delta Center.

It was a large group of people. The Television reporter reported that they limited the backstage passes that night so they could spend more time with this young girl and her family.

This took place before the whole backlash, so this was not an attempt to save a reputation in jeopardy. It was a simple act of kindness. I am a dedicated fan because the Boys have helped me in many ways which I choose not to discuss.

Next time a large company decides to publish an article or state a group of facts, I suggest they get their facts straight.

Sincerely Backstreet, Marley Deifer, 13, Delran NJ

Reader response

Once again I find myself asking myself when will the press learn to think before they write a story.

Please don't judge the Backstreet Boys without knowing the full story. they have done a lot of stuff for sick children, why wouldn't they now? The Backstreet Boys were recently honored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America as the 1999 Celebrity Wish Grantors of the Year. Did you mention that?

Think before you write a story and make someone look bad. If you were in the public eye would you want to be treated like that?

BTW, did you know that Howie Dorough lost his sister to Lupus, Kevin Richardson lost his dad to Cancer and Brian Littrell almost lost his life because of a congenital heart defect?

Now would people who have been touched so much by death treat someone so sick rude? I think not. Why not get an interview with the guys and get the facts.

One other thing before you go throwing stones let me ask you this?

How many times do you go to hospitals and visit sick kids? They are always looking for volunteers to spend time with them.

I work with Children of all kind, sick & healthy and you can't be there to help them all and it hurts.

a fan

Reader response

I wanted to say that it disheartens me that the media has picked up on this article for many reasons.

First off, the manner that the tease starts makes this situation seem worse then it is. I am sorry that this young girl was not granted a wish. Yet, we all know they get many requests and they try to handle and do as much as possible.

I personally feel not as a teenage fan but as an older fan that now that the group has lasted more then they were expected too. The media is out to find any blimsh they have. I am not saying not to report it but again, the tease is one sided and not a complete story.

Again the group has always been giving of their time and effort when they can to charitable groups and events that they work for with children and particular organizations. For example, Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club for Kids, Save the Music-VH1, Caroline Dorough-Cohran Lupus Memorial Foundation and Make a Wish Foundation to name a few.

Why is this not reported. Granted the group knows they are giving back to the community and that is what counts not the media coverage. Yet, the media eats up this kind of stuff if they don't do something for what pratical purpose, I ask you?

If the group was a heartless as you are saying then why did they do this last week. This was noted last week in the news in the US on NBC.

Going Backstage With The Backstreet Boys - A Dream Come True On the NBC Tuesday news (October 26, 1999), they had a clip of the Backstreet Boys with one of their fans. A 12 year old from Portland, Oregon, whose dreams of meeting the Boys came true.

This was not just any fan, but a little girl who faced some health issues. The 12 year old was originally featured in a past TV health report.

A friend who either knew the Boys (or other person - a connection of some sort) happened to be watching the news that one night and learned the girl was a Backstreet fan. The special friend put his/her fingers to work and invited the girl to be a special guest to the Boys' concert. On Monday, October 25, 1999... the girl's dream came true. There was a news clip of the Boys meeting thelittle girl. It showed Nick and Howie, Brian smiling, and Kevin kneeling next to the little girl (I'm sure AJ was there somewhere. The girl was asked what she wanted and she said, "Just one more kiss"... and then she gave Kevin a kiss. Kevin, of course, had a big smile on his face. It was very touching and very cute. Afterwards, the news reporter made a comment regarding the Boys and said, "You gotta love them even more..."

My point is this if the group was able to answer all the requests they get and they get many it would be great. Yet they can not they are only 5 guys and with a full pallet.

I would like to see the media handle this schedule and have you look at other celebraties and what they do for their communities. These guys give back but of course one decline and it becomes a National Headliner.

That is the disheartening fact that the media looks for these things and is always one side. I would like to see you all give back your time to the community instead of writing and gossiping about things that is not newsworthy. There are other issues that count such as millions of people with out food in India.

Of course it is not music related but I guess you need to keep yourselves busy.

Thank you for your time

Yvette C Arizona, USA

Reader response

[Remember that this response is to the webmaster at]

Three times I've counted so far (there may be more, I don't know) that you've changed the headline of this story of the Backstreet Boys (November 4th). STOP trying to make them look bad.

You probably don't know the whole story, and since you probably aren't even interested in the truth, you stoop to putting up lousy headlines. Shame on you.

This is obviously a website oriented to younger people, and in case you didn't know, this kind of trash writing doesn't do anyone any good. I've certainly lost respect for this site. I thought it was an innocent site for kids, but this proves that wrong.

I hope you'll rethink your way of doing things. Why don't you try writing about some of the GOOD things the band does instead of focusing on a negative story.

It is possible that the band doesn't even know about this particular girl, maybe it was their management or others in the organization that turned them down. Get the facts.

You also blew it when you printed the article about the BSB just not showing up at a club after a concert. You might have gotten the real FACTS on that one before printing it up with headlines that make them look bad. Now you look bad!

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