MENTOR, Ohio (WJW) — Eight-year-old Painesville resident Malia Tibayan has wanted to be a hairstylist ever since she found herself tangled up in a situation that needed to be brought to the professionals.

At her mom Chelsea’s 20-week ultrasound, 8 years ago, Malia was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect
called Tetralogy of Fallot. Needing multiple surgeries spanning from just 6 weeks old to the latest at three years old, her mom says Malia was and still is a fighter.

“After her last surgery, her hair was a matted and tangled mess,” Chelsea said. “Considering everything she had been through, she was terrified of strangers, but we had to get this giant knot out of her head.”

And so, Chelsea enlisted the help of AnDao Silbaugh at Ladies and Gentlemen’s Salon & Spa.

“She was so kind and patient and took such good care of my baby girl,” Chelsea said.

This inspired Malia and she immediately decided that she wanted to be a hairstylist when she grows up.

On Saturday, her wish came true. A few years earlier than she planned.

With the help of A Special Wish Northeast Ohio Chapter, Malia spent the morning at the salon learning how to style her mom’s hair, put it in an up-do and also how to apply make-up and paint nails.

She was also taught how to do her brother’s hair and her sister’s hair.

“We have partnered with Nurenberg Paris to create this life-changing program, called Nurenberg Paris For Kids (NP4Kids)” says Emily Pitera, Director of Wish Granting for ASW. “Through this program, we work with our wish families to make sure our wish kiddos’ dreams come true and they are able to have their dream job for a day.”

To end the day, Malia got pampered with her very own makeover before ending her day as a hairstylist.

“Malia has always been extremely creative and imaginative. She’s always doing her dolls hair, putting on make-up, making her own clothes out of fabric that she finds around the house,” Chelsea said. “She is strong, smart, beautiful, and kind.”

To find out more about NP4Kids, click here.

To donate to A Special Wish Northeast Ohio Chapter, click here.