WATCH | Eight-year-old Faith Wilson from Bakersfield, Calif., got exactly what she was hoping for this Christmas: a custom American Girl doll modified to look just like her.
Diagnosed with deadly infections
When Faith was 2 years old, she was diagnosed with two deadly infections -- spinal meningitis and meningococcal toxemia. Doctors told Faith's mother Raylene Wilson that both of her little girl's legs needed to be amputated.
"She was already starting to swell and her legs were already black and her feet were already black," Raylene Wilson told affiliate KBAK. "They told me they were airlifting her to children's hospital. We ended up being at the hospital for over a month."
Wilson said it was difficult to persuade Faith to wear her prosthetic legs. At first, she didn't want to walk at all. Other children at school would call Faith "robot legs," discouraging her from wearing the prosthetics.
Her family has been trying to help Faith believe 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.
Looking for a doll like her
Faith's uncle Matthew Barton 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.
Ever since they heard Faith was having a hard time wearing her prosthetics, they have showered love and encouragement for the little girl. Faith had been asking her family for an American Girl doll that looked like her, with two prosthetic legs.
I think that's my hope for Faith -- I just believe that she can do whatever she sets her mind to.
The Bartons looked around and found a New York-based company called A Step Ahead Prosthetics, and they were able to make Faith's dream come true.
Faith's mom and dad said the couple has been really encouraging for Faith -- and despite all of the challenges that Faith faces every day, she remains a fighter.