Floydada is a thriving medical community with the Mangold Memorial Hospital and the Cogdell Clinic. But our story this time is about a little girl in Floydada who can't run and play like other children because of a rare disease. Even so, her life in Floydada has become a bit of a fairy tale.
Sometimes she spends her days at the Southwest Cancer Center at UMC in Lubbock. That's where her oncologist, known as "Dr. Al", provides as cheerful a checkup as possible for a little girl with a potentially fatal bleeding disorder.
Faith Reyes has Von Willebrand Disease, type 3, the rarest and the most serious kind. So hospitals bring reality, but floydada brings fantasy.
"Can you show me your name up there?" Dennis says as he points to faith's name on his Wal-Mart truck.
Faith Reyes is an honorary truck driver, thanks to Wal-Mart. That means if you see a Wal-Mart truck with a heart on it, Faith's name is on there too. And certain privileges go along with that.
Dennis is one of 16 drivers in the Wal-Mart heart fleet. That's an outreach program to make special days for sick children. On this day, he is in Floydada, parked right in front of faith's house. He tells her after he lifts her up into the cab, "you need to put this hand up here on the gear shift, and this hand on the wheel. There you go. It's like you're driving now!" both of them laugh, but Faith's giggle is loud and clear and infectious.
However, being a truck driver is just part of Faith's fantasy world. In the back yard, she's all girl, a princess with her own life size doll house.
"What do you want to drink? Tea?" she asks her friend as she pours from a tea cup.
When the Make-a-Wish foundation offered to grant her a wish, Faith was practical.
Her mom, April, explains: "She said she wanted a playhouse because it lasts forever. She can come out here and play and be a normal child."
Faith's playhouse has a kitchen, air conditioning, a loft and a window box, but what makes it really perfect?
"It's purple!" she says.
April says Faith has good days and bad, but the playhouse helps her relax and just enjoy being a little girl.
"And it brightens her day when she is an honorary truck driver."
"Breaker breaker, anybody out there?" You can hear Faith practicing her CB talk in the front yard.
But in the back yard, it's a much different story.
"Would you like some tea?" she asks me. "Of course" I said.
Anything to help a sick little girl in Floydada find some fantasy in her life.
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