In so many ways, Faith Halaby is just like any other 10-year-old.
“I like to sing. I like to jump on my trampoline. I like to sleep,” said Faith. But in other ways, she’s not.
“She has significant malformations of the brain,” explained her mother, Mary Halaby. “They affect her physically and cognitively and emotionally as well.”
But there’s a small army behind Faith and Mary is kind of like the general.
“She can have a really meaningful and happy and fulfilling life,” said Mary.
And that would make Dr. Wendy Pierce, a pediatric rehabilitation specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Colorado Springs, the lieutenant general.
“She’s extremely down to earth. She takes her time. Also, she’s just incredibly relatable as a parent as well,” said Mary.
Dr. Pierce works with children like Faith at a clinic on Briargate Parkway. She focuses on those with traumatic and acquired brain injuries, spine diseases and conditions, neuromuscular diseases, and Cerebral Palsy.
She celebrates in their triumphs and helps them persevere through their defeats.
“I love watching kids as they say they got a medal in some sport or an award at school,” said Dr. Pierce.
She admits the hardest part of her job is watching children with progressive conditions get worse, but she sees these kids far beyond their diagnoses.
“I think they just want to be like everyone else. They want you to say ‘hi’ to them. They want you to ask how they’re doing, how their day is and they’re gonna tell you.”
That’s why she serves on the advocacy committee for the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine.
“For me, it’s so kids to have access to the care that they need. That’s the most important thing for us.”
She volunteers every winter as “bus mom,” taking Faith and several other patients to an adaptive ski program.
“They ski better than I do! That’s what I try to emphasize to people, that their abilities are actually better than mine, despite their physical disabilities.”
She’ll be back this year.
“We are very grateful,” said Mary as she hugged Faith.