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Faith's spirit shines through at Christmas

Sharpsburg EMS company arranges Santa visit for 3-year-old leukemia patient

Sharpsburg EMS company arranges Santa visit for 3-year-old leukemia patient

December 24, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

SHARPSBURG - When 3-year-old Faith Warfield saw the big red suit and bushy white beard come around the corner, her eyes got as big as quarters.

"It's Santa, mommy! It's Santa!" she said as she hopped into his lap. "And look at all these presents!"

It was a show of enthusiasm some people might not have expected from a girl who was still mostly bald from a recent chemotherapy treatment.

Warfield was diagnosed on July 25 with leukemia. Her parents, Chip and Tammy Warfield of Boonsboro, said the disease has changed their lives in a lot of ways.

But their daughter's demeanor has remained the same, they said.

"She's the same girl. She's a happy, smiling little girl," Chip Warfield said.

The Warfields were at the Sharpsburg Area Emergency Medical Services station Sunday afternoon for a visit with Santa. The EMS company hosts a Santa visit every year for local children, but when they heard about Faith's diagnosis, they decided to do something special this year for her and her family.

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Faith had a private visit with Santa, where she received dozens of presents donated by local groups. Her parents also received gift cards for food and gasoline to help with the weekly trips to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where Faith receives treatments.

"We wanted Faith to have a nice Christmas," said Tina Grimm, captain of the EMS company.

Along with the EMS company, the Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Co., Sharpsburg American Legion Auxiliary Unit 236 and Potomac Valley Fire Co. participated in the event.

The community's efforts were not lost on Faith, who was excited before she even walked through the door, thanks to the firetruck parked outside.

"Did you see it, daddy?" she asked Chip as they came in, pointing to the Potomac Valley fire engine in the parking lot.

While opening presents, Faith occasionally placed her hand over her mouth when she saw one that really surprised her.

"Wow!" she said when she got a coloring book. "Mom, check it out."

After tearing through wrapping paper to find a baby doll, she threw her hands up in excitement.

"A baby! A cool baby doll!" she said.

Chip Warfield said the event was indicative of the kind of support the family has received since their daughter was diagnosed.

"This whole ordeal has brought us closer together. It's brought our family close together, but also the community. The support has been amazing," Chip Warfield said.

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