Steffani was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer found in lymph tissue, at the age of fourteen. While going through treatment, Steffani was referred to Make-A-Wish® Central & South Texas. When asked what would be the one thing she would wish for if she could have anything, Steffani replied, “I wish to be an actress.”
The Make-A-Wish staff went to work to create a magical experience for Steffani. Her dream came true when she was given the opportunity to visit the set of The Tree of Life, a movie being filmed in Austin. Her mother, Tamara, said it couldn’t have come at a better time as she had finished her treatments just six weeks prior.
On the day of her wish, Steffani and her parents, Tamara and Steven, were given VIP treatment when a limo picked them up at their home in Belton and whisked them away to Austin, where they had no idea what was in store. Terrence Malick, the film’s director, and stars Jessica Chastain and Brad Pitt greeted them on the set where Steffani was given a role as an extra in one of the scenes. With Brad Pitt as her acting coach, Steffani nailed it! While the scene Steffani shot with Brad Pitt didn’t make the final cut of the movie, she said it was still one of the most amazing experiences and more than she could have hoped for as part of her wish.
The kindness of the cast and crew made Steffani’s wish a once-in-a-lifetime experience with memories she and her family will never forget. Steffani’s mother summed it up best when she said, “For a brief spot in time we were there, and we walked and talked with living legends. But, of course, even better than that was the radiant smile of a 15-year-old young lady who had the time of her life.”