Ukulele music got her through the worst of times — and gave her the best day ever

KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Florida teenager battling a devastating condition had her special wish realized Wednesday in Kaneohe.

Celine, 15, has struggled with sickle cell anemia her entire life. "It causes pain like crazy, " she said.

She recently found some comfort from the agonizing pain following a bone marrow transplant. And from some unexpected musical medicine after a chance meeting with a musical therapist.

"The fact that I got to learn ukulele was so helpful," Jose said, when talking about how she was stuck at home for much of her treatment.

It's been about a year since Celine's last hospital stay.

She was already thrilled to be well enough to travel to the islands for her family's first vacation with the help of Make-A-Wish and take what she thought was a factory tour of Kanilea Ukulele.

Then something amazing happened. The non-profit and popular ukulele maker put together a surprise concert for the teen with Honoka and Azita, plus a huge bag of goodies from various local artists.

And to top of Celine's best day ever, the owners of Kanilea presented her with a custom-made ukulele, which she quickly started to play. The small crowd watching on the showroom floor joined in song — and tears of joy.

Her father, Will, described it as surreal.

"You want the best for your child and when you've seen her at her lowest point and to turn around and see her at her highest point, it was emotional," he said.

And the ended with one more gesture of kindness: The owners of Kanilea were so impressed by Celine, they donated a half dozen more ukuleles so she can take them back to her Miami clinic and teach lessons to other young patients.

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