August 08, 2012 01:00 PM

When Ivanka Trump met teen jewelry designer Linda Cifuentes in May, the day was filled with lots of laughter. But just months before, Cifuentes’s life hadn’t been so happy.

Adopted two years ago, 16-year-old Cifuentes was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma earlier this year. As she battled the disease from her hospital bed, her mother brought her beads to make jewelry with. In time, she realized she had quite a talent — and a passion was born.

Now in remission — and busy planning her Quinceañera — Cifuentes was recently granted a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and got to spend a day with Trump at her SoHo jewelry boutique. Her family — four of her sisters, plus her parents — came along for the trip, spending a weekend at the Trump SoHo hotel.

“She’s really, really very good,” Trump says in the clip above. “She asked a ton of incredibly knowledgeable and informed questions. I was really amazed by the seriousness she had, and the professionalism.”

The two talked web design and craftsmanship, and at the end of the day, Trump gifted the teen with a piece from her fine jewelry collection. But the giving didn’t stop there: Trump and her team also gave Cifuentes three emeralds, which the aspiring designer used to create a piece that was auctioned at a recent San Diego Make-A-Wish event — and in turn, will pay to grant four children’s wishes.

“Just generally, I look forward to watching Linda as she grows,” Trump says. “I’m incredibly lucky to have met Linda and her family.” See more of the special day in the clip above, and visit to see more of Cifuentes’s creations.

–Kate Hogan

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