American teenager girl Donika Sterling who suffers from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease was not even able to stand due to this disease. Ever since she was a baby, Donika had gone through many surgical operations to fight against the disease. Unable to run around like any other teenager girls, Donika’s only enjoyment was to watch TV and listen to K-Pop via the internet.
Amazingly, Donika was invited to SM Entertainment on June 20 and was able to meet SHINee in person. SHINee had brought gifts for her which included doll, albums, photo book, pictures and more. Even Taemin gave his own bracelet and performed ‘Ring Ding Dong,’ which was her favorite song of the group.
SHINee member Taemin stated, “I was glad to hear about Donika coming to Korea to meet us. I was very impressed hearing that Donika gets encouraged by our music.” Key also added, “I’m glad to have this special meeting with Donika today and we would love to invite her to our concert if we hold one in New York.”
Donika also expressed, “I’m so excited right now. It is so nice to finally meet SHINee whom I only dreamed of and glad to have this great experience.” She also gave a letter to her Taemin, her favorite member.
Donika also earlier had met all nine Super Junior members on June 17 in Namyangju, Gyeonggi-do where Super Junior’s music video shooting site was at. She couldn’t believe her eyes.
In particular, her favorite member Siwon handed her the bible and a CD set of Super Junior’s 1~5 albums personally. Also 9 members sang ‘Sorry Sorry’ a cappella.
Super Junior told her “Thank you for fighting your disease so bravely and listening to our songs. I always wish you the best” and hold Donika’s hand. On the way back to Seoul, Donika murmured “I can never forget what happened today” as she looked down on her hand.
Donika Sterling family’s visiting Korea was sponsored by Herbert Black, president of American Iron & Metal.
On June 16, Donika came to Korea with her mother, grandmother, and Kim&Bae law firm who sent Donika’s news to Korea first. At the airport, Donika said “Korea is much more beautiful than how I saw on TV. I still cannot believe I am in Korea. I thank everyone who helped me to make my dreams come true. I don’t know how to appreciate anymore.”
Donika is staying in Korea for two weeks. Among many schedules, it includes meeting SHINee and Super Junior members as well as to visit a child welfare institution in Seoul on June 22.
At the Child welfare institution in Seoul, Donica wishes to meet her fellow disabled teenagers and give them the strength.
Kim&Bae law firm representative lawyer Bae Moongyung said “Donika never loses her smile even in hard times, and she knows to understand other people as well. She has the most beautiful heart. President Herbert Black gave Donika some allowance and cheered her to take care of herself. I am very glad that her dream came true with many people’s support.”