Child with cancer receives generous gift from NM woman

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A New Mexico woman said the smile on a little girl’s face was enough to let her know she made the right decision to gave up concert tickets to see one of the biggest boy bands in the world. Amanda Jaramillo had tickets to the One Direction concert in Phoenix Tuesday night. The concert has come and gone, but Jaramillo won’t have any memories of it because she didn’t go. Instead, a 12-year-old girl, she has never met, sat in her seats.

“When I saw the excitement on her face that’s when I knew I made the right choice,” Jaramillo said.

Jaramillo is talking about Estefania Canales. She recently wrapped up treatment for ovarian cancer and had no idea the surprise she was about to be getting. Last week, another One Direction fan, Jaramillo, was on a mission to get tickets that Canales would soon be holding.

“I had been looking for them since Tuesday and finally found them on Friday,” Jaramillo said.

For four days Jaramillo picked apart clues and combed through Albuquerque in a big scavenger hunt put on by an Albuquerque radio station.

“The last clue was we can hear the music, can you? There was a big rally going on in the middle of UNM,” Jaramillo said.

Jaramillo won the tickets but already knew she couldn’t go. The college student had class.

“I figured that a child would benefit from it the most, deserved it the most, a sick child anyway,” Jaramillo said.

So Jaramillo called the CBS affiliate in Phoenix and asked them to get in touch with the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Hospital staff would soon tell the 12-year-old girl with the infectious smile she would be seeing One Direction. Needless to say Canales is a big fan.

“I just like their singing,” Canales said. “I thought they’re really cute.”

Jaramillo found out who got the tickets a few hours before the concert.

“The reporter from CBS 5 sent me a picture of the little girl holding up the tickets,” Jaramillo said. “She was wearing a bandana because she just finished her cancer treatments. So it really hit home.”

Jaramillo’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last month. She didn’t ask for any thank you’s but got one anyway.

“Thank you,” Canales said. “Thank you for giving me the tickets.”

Jaramillo only asked that Canales have fun and fulfill one favor in return for the tickets.

“My favorite One Direction song is “That’s What Makes You Beautiful,” so I told her the only thing she had to do for me is sing that song at the top her lungs when it came on,” Jaramillo said.

We’re pretty sure – she did.

Along with the tickets, Jaramillo sent Canales a note telling her to listen to her parents, keep fighting and eat her veggies. Canales is now in remission. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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