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Cascade County

May 15, 2012 1:19 PM by Jen Hollenbach (jen@krtv.com)

Ulm girl named "Montana Champion" for the Children's Miracle Network

Samantha Faulkner, a 10 year old girl from Ulm, has been named the Montana Champion in the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) Champion Program.

Samantha and her family were surprised with a $500 shopping card at Walmart in Great Falls on Tuesday morning.

The shopping spree will help the Faulkner family prepare for a trip to Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Florida, to represent Montana in Children's Miracle Network events.

The presentation was made by Wally Long, director of the Montana Children's Foundation, and Lance Lerud, the manager of the Great Falls Walmart store.

Samantha loves animals and playing soccer, and dreams of becoming an OB/GYN doctor.

She has a genetic condition called Stickler Syndrome, and is treated by specialists at Shodair Children's Hospital's in Helena. Stickler Syndrome is a connective tissue disorder that can include retinal detachment, hearing loss, and mild precocious arthritis.

Samantha's connection to Shodair began before she was born. Her mother, Erin, was seen by the hospital's genetics specialists as a teen regarding her short stature.

Several years later, Erin was seen again at Shodair for some answers regarding issues with her vision, hearing, and joints, leading to a diagnosis of Stickler Syndrome for Erin as well.

Read more at the CMNH website.

We'll have more on today's event during this evening's newscast on KRTV and here on KRTV.com.

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