BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — This year for Christmas, 8-year-old Faith Wilson got exactly what she was hoping for.
Her aunt and uncle had an American Girl doll custom made to look just like her.
When Faith was 2, she was diagnosed with two rare and deadly diseases. Faith's mother said she rushed her to the hospital and was later told that her young daughter had spinal meningitis and meningococcal toxemia.
Raylene Wilson, Faith's mother, said the doctors didn't think her little girl would make it and needed to amputate both of Faith's legs to give her a chance.
"She was laying there, and she was already starting to swell, and her legs were already black, and her feet were already black," Raylene Wilson said. "They told me they were airlifting her to Children's Hospital. We ended up being at the hospital for over a month, and I never left."
Faith's mom said it's been hard to get Faith to wear her prosthetic legs.
At first, she didn't want to walk at all. Faith then took to walking on her knees. Other children at school would call Faith "robot legs," discouraging her from wearing the prosthetics
Her family is trying to help Faith understand that she has no limitations and can do anything. Part of that is working with Faith to use her prosthetic legs more often, and to be confident in them.
That's where Faith's uncle comes in.
Matthew Barton, Faith's uncle, is also an amputee. He lost one of his legs after a motorcycle accident.
He and his wife Angela said that Faith has been an inspiration to them.
Since they heard that Faith was having a hard time wearing her prosthetics, they've been working with her.
Angela Barton said her husband is like Faith's coach and a good source of encouragement.
Faith had been asking her family for an American Girl doll who looked like her, with two prosthetic legs.
The couple looked around and found a New York-based company called A Step Ahead Prosthetics, and it was able to make Faith's dream come true.
Faith's mom and dad said the Bartons have been angels in encouraging their daughter. The Bartons said despite all of the challenges that Faith faces every day, she remains a fighter.
"I think that's my hope for Faith, I just believe that she can do whatever she sets her mind to," Barton said. "She has a beautiful spirit, and through adversity I believe comes strength and courage, and I just know she will do great things."