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Youngster's dream comes true when he meets Ozzy Osbourne

Before Ryan Cunningham could blink an eye, heavy metal icon Ozzy Osbourne had whisked the 7-year-old boy onto his lap.

There, Ryan sat shyly looking at the man whom he had only dreamed of meeting. In his Dunedin home Monday, Ryan was still speechless about the weekend backstage encounter in Texas.

He simply raised his hands in the air and said "it gets two thumbs up."

"We are happy that he was healthy enough to enjoy this because he sure did," Ryan's mother, Cathy Cunningham, said.

Ryan has cystic fibrosis and was granted his wish through the Children's Dream Fund.

For more than 20 years, the organization has fulfilled the dreams of children ages 3-18 in 20 counties in west-central Florida who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.

Ryan wanted to see Osbourne so the group sent him and his parents to last weekend's Ozzfest 2008 in Frisco, Texas.

Ryan went backstage before the concert and met Osbourne and band members. He was given eight of Osbourne's CDs and an 8- by 10-inch photo. Osbourne signed a poster and Ryan's custom T-shirt that declared him Ozzy's No. 1 fan. A few band members also signed the poster.

And yes, Ryan gave Ozzy a big hug. But back in his living room Monday afternoon, the boy's mind was still on the music.

"He played hard metal," Ryan said, his eyes still dancing with excitement. "He played Iron Man. He played Mr. Crowley. He played Crazy Train."

Osbourne didn't play Ryan's favorite, Get Me Through, but that didn't dampen the experience for the Ozzy connoisseur.

After a day of Ozzy, Children's Dream Fund arranged for Ryan to have lunch and spend time at Dave and Buster's, a place full of video games.

"It was a good way to end a kid trip," Cathy Cunningham said.

Demorris A. Lee can be reached at 445-4174 or

Youngster's dream comes true when he meets Ozzy Osbourne 08/11/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 8:34pm]
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