Hello, my name is Heather Niles and I've been a fan of CT since 2011. I wanted to share with you something that happened to me back in 2013. Actually, it's a two-part story.

I've been married now for nearly 18 years. Like every young woman, I dreamed of being a mother someday. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, that dream was not to be. When my husband and I still thought, we would be able to be parents, we had even picked out names. Ryan John for a boy (after Ryan Kelly) and Seána Lynn for a girl (Seàna after Seána Davey). In 2013, I finally forced myself to face the reality that that dream was never going to come true. It was Ryan's music and Celtic Thunder's music that helped me start the healing process. When I wrote to Ryan telling him the situation and how I would've named my son after him, I NEVER expected a response. Shortly before our trip to Canada, I received something in the mail. Surprisingly it was not a form letter like most artists send but a HAND-WRITTEN letter from Ryan sending his condolences and support over the painful decision I had made and telling me how humbled he was that I would think to name a child after him. He wished me well and included an autographed photo.

I was so blown away by this touching letter and that he would take the time to write a hand-written letter to me was just heartwarming. Now to the 2nd part. It was the same year but I have to give you a backstory. I was molested by a family friend when I was 5 years old. I never told a soul until 10 years later and when I did, I was pushed aside and made to feel like I was overreacting. And so, I went back into silence for another 23 years. Until Ryan Kelly's In Time came out and I heard Heaven Bound. It was THIS song and Ryan's powerful words in the song that made me realize I couldn't stay silent anymore. Ryan and his song gave me the courage to finally break my silence for good and I'm now a very strong advocate for breaking the silence and the cycle of abuse.

This is what the lads of Celtic Thunder have done for me in the short 7 years that I have been following them. It's been an amazing ride and I am so grateful to them for helping me through so much. They even wished me luck every year when it came time for my cancer scans and Neil celebrated with me 2 years ago when I told him I wouldn't have to ever go back for another scan. I'm now 8 years free.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and please send my eternal thanks to the lads.

Heather Niles