Leilehua Teen Raising Funds To Make Girl’s Wish Come True

Big Island girl Melodee (last name withheld) has dreamed of traveling to the magical world of Disney to meet her favorite Disney characters.

And while she dreams of becoming a princess for one day, she also patiently waits for a heart transplant.

Sixteen-year-old Leilehua High School student Mikaela “Miki” Armstrong, along with nonprofit Make-A-Wish Hawaii, hopes to raise enough funds to send Melodee and her family to Disney World.

Make-A-Wish has impacted Armstrong in many ways, as well, as she has had a lot of friends who have had cancer or are currently battling it.

“Since it affected so many of my friends, it’s a good way to give back,” Armstrong explained. She recalled that Make-A-Wish sent one of her friends to Italy one summer, and another friend was able to travel to Hawaii.

The Celebration of Hope benefit took place Nov. 18 at Sunset Ranch on the North Shore, and 100 percent of the proceeds went to support the family’s trip.

Area residents in attendance got their faces painted and fed the horses. Crowds also enjoyed a live demonstration of equine-assisted therapy put on by H.E.A.R.T. (Hawaii Equine Assisted Reflection & Therapy).

Armstrong is excited to see Melodee happy. “I want to give her a brighter outlook on what’s she’s going through,” she said.

For more information on H.E.A.R.T., go to, and for more details on what Armtrong does with Make-A-Wish Hawaii, email