A young American girl battling cancer has been given a very special gift to help lift her spirits.
Ten-year-old Dylan Probe had to have her lower right leg amputated after being diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a type of bone cancer that is rare in children.
Prior to the diagnosis, Dylan enjoyed sports, particularly swimming and soccer and had even competed in triathlons. She and her family chose an amputation as the best form of treatment available and she also had to undergo several rounds of harsh chemotherapy.
The young girl will soon be fitted with a prosthetic leg to allow her to live the fullest life possible. And she recently received a wonderful gift, an American Girl doll which also has a lower right prosthetic leg.
Dylan, from Houston, Texas, recently met professional photographer Sherina Welch, who was taking photos of young cancer patients for a special project. It was Sherina who gave Dylan the doll through donations made by family and friends.
Once Dylan told Welch she loves American Girl dolls, Welch worked with a New York-based prosthetic company to custom design Dylan’s doll.
“She can relate to it,” Welch said. “She can feel ‘normal,’ that here’s this beautiful doll that looks just like me.”
Dylan said she was “in shock” when she was given the doll. She decided to call the doll “Hope” to symbolise the hope she has despite her struggle with cancer.
Hope" joins Dylan’s other doll, named "Faith," who Dylan received earlier in her cancer treatment. Faith, another American Girl doll, is bald, which Dylan can relate to after losing all her hair through chemotherapy.
“You have to have faith and you have to have hope to get through this or otherwise it’s going to be horrible, not that it’s great, but it’d really be horrible,” Dylan told ABC News of why she chose her dolls' names.
“If you believe and you have faith and you have hope, then things will turn out OK.”
A friend even gave Dylan the crutches from one of her dolls so “Hope” can be more like her.
“Now I have three dolls that look like me but they’re all different,” Dylan said of her American Girl dolls.
“One has short brown hair, one has no hair and one has a prosthetic leg, so they all look like me.”
This little girl has shown so much courage, undergoing cancer, chemotherapy and amputation, we are absolutely in awe of her bravery.