Popular groups Super Junior and SHINee had an extra special visit with a terminally ill K-Pop fan.
Donika Sterling visited the SM Entertainment building yesterday where she was able to achieve her dream of meeting her favorite groups in person.
Herbert Black, the president of American Iron and Metal Company based in Canada, sponsored the 15 year-old’s trip to Korea so she could meet her idols. The CEO was so moved by the care he had received from Donika’s grandmother during his hospital stay, that he decided to make her granddaughter’s K-Pop dreams come true.
Donika has been suffering with Charcot-Marie-Tooth, an incurable disease, since she was a child which leaves her wheelchair bound. During her difficult treatments and surgeries it was K-Pop dramas and music, which she watched and listened to online, that kept her spirits up. Most notably it was the music of SHINee and Super Junior which added to the meeting’s significance.
SHINee member Taemin commented on the day saying, “Donika came all the way to Korea just to see us. Her story is really touching. We were sincerely touched to hear that our music gave her such courage; we hope that she will remain strong in the future.” Fellow member Key added, “Donika, we are so delighted to meet you and spend this special time together. If we are to perform in New York again we will certainly invite you.”
Donika said about her experience, “I’m so excited now. I am happy that I was able to experience and meet with SHINee. It is just like a dream.”
SHINee presented gifts of stuffed animals, a photo book, and other SHINee merchandise. In a tender scene, Donika’s favorite member, Taemin, gave her his cherished bracelet which was an added heart-warming and generous gesture to commemorate their time together.
Then SHINee sang along with Donika to her favorite song, “Ring Ding Dong” which added to the warm atmosphere.
Previously, Donika had the chance to meet up with Super Junior in Namyangju where the group was filming their brand new music video. Donika couldn’t believe her eyes and ears as she was able to preview the new song and video. Then Siwon, her favorite member, came up to Donika and presented her with a bible and a stack of all of Super Junior’s albums. The group even broke into an acapella version of “Sorry Sorry,” her favorite song, for her. She then was able to take pictures with the group to top off the unforgettable day.
Here is wishing all the best to Donika!
Photos belong to the Washington Post and SM Entertainment