Coming from a family of musicians, Celine has music in her bloodline. But it wasn’t until she was recovering from a bone marrow transplant that her artistry became her own.
“As long as I can remember, I have been in a lot of pain,” said Celine. “I was always in and out of the hospital. But during my recovery period, learning the ukulele was an option… it became an amazing therapeutic release for me!”
Her wish to go to Hawaii came naturally – she wanted to visit the place where the ukulele was created. Upon her arrival to the island, Celine was welcomed by tropical waves, friendly people and the sweet sound of her favorite stringed instruments. Having been about a year since her last hospital stay, Celine was thrilled to be well enough to travel for her family's first vacation. Then something amazing happened.
Celine, her parents and two siblings were given what they thought was just a tour of the Kanile'a Ukulele factory. After learning how ukuleles are made and witnessing the intricate process come to life, she was surprised with a live performance by a few of her ukulele idols: Honoka and Azita.
Celine's wish experience didn’t just end with the melodies of her favorite ukulele artists – she was then presented with her own custom-made ukulele! Her joy was contagious as she relished the special gift and she immediately began strumming the strings. Everyone in the room was moved to tears when she began to sing her song.
Impressed by her talent and passion for music, the Hawaiian ukulele company donated a dozen more ukulele for Celine to take to her clinic back home. She will now devote time to teaching other young patients how to play, and share the healing power of music with them, too.
Her father, Will, described the entire wish experience as surreal. "You want the best for your child," he said. "And when you've seen her at her lowest point and to turn around and see her at her highest point... it was emotional."
Wish Granters: Elizabeth Erra & Randy Rodriguez
Referred by Leslie Hutchins
Wish adopted by Mortgage Bankers Association