Teen Diagnosed With Brain Cancer Celebrates Dream Quinceañera
For many of us in the Latino community, having a quinceañera is a right of passage, celebrating our transition into womanhood.
The big shindig is typically an unforgettable experience. The event is full of dancing, delicious food, hilarious peak family dysfunction and elaborate ensembles.
For 14-year-old Melody Rendon, a quinceañera was one of two wishes she wanted to be granted after being diagnosed with brain cancer in March of this year. Thanks to the help of the South Bay community, her dream quinceañera was made a reality.
The community rallied together to make Melody’s dream come true
Rendon’s mother, Karina Kamiura, initially contacted a local business that kindly offered to host the quinceañera. Then, they contacted the rest of the community on social media. Within days, the amount of donations and support they received was overwhelming.
“It was almost to a point where we had to turn people away because we had too much stuff,” one community member recalled. It took a village to plan the party Rendon always envisioned, with the entire community stepping in to help in whatever ways they could.
Even Rendon’s teachers donated their time, acting as servers at the event. Everyone pitched in, covering food, decor and entertainment costs. They also organized the garden-themed fiesta in only three months.
Celebrating the big day — and making more wishes come true
The San Diego native was stunning in a dark teal ball gown, twirling center stage like a princess from un cuento de hadas. She took turns dancing with friends and family as everyone watched with tears in their eyes.
They decorated the venue in teal, green, white, and gold, truly reminiscent of a fairy wonderland. The teen, who wore a silver tiara with emeralds embedded in it, was all smiles among her loved ones.
However, one of the best parts of the night was making the teen’s other wish come true: meeting her favorite singer, Lauren Daigle. Thanks to the Make a Wish foundation, which sets out to grant the wishes of critically ill children, this one will be granted in July when Rendon and Daigle meet in Philadelphia.
Leaning on faith during tough times
A Christian artist, Daigle and Rendon’s shared faith keeps her hopes and spirits high. Kamiura, who says Rendon is “the definition of a perfect daughter,” praised her faith and resilience, recalling Rendon’s reaction to her diagnosis:
“[She told me], ‘Mom, don’t worry about it. I’m going to be fine. You go get my bible, bring it to me, and have everyone you know pray.’”
Kamiura’s message for everyone who helped: “We’re standing up because you guys lift us up and I thank you for that. I owe you guys.”
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