'She has shown us that hope never stops'

CANYONVILLE, Ore. -- Over the weekend, a Canyonville family celebrated a day they were told would never come.

Months ago, Brooklyn Fasnacht contracted meningitis.

Doctors were not optimistic. The family says they told them that she wouldn't live to see her second birthday.

This weekend, surrounded by friends and family, Brooklyn Fasnacht turned 2.

Alexis Fasnacht, Brooklyn's sister, told KPIC News, "She's 2-years-old and the doctors were wrong."

Party goers wrote messages of love, hope and faith on balloons for the girl and set them free.

Her parents say community support, and the fact that Brooklyn is one tough little girl, is why she was able to beat the odds. "We were told she would never walk, talk, sit up, anything," said her mother, Angel. "With so much therapy and so many hopes and prayers, she's able to finally do a lot of those things."

Brooklyn still has health problems. The meningitis caused severe brain damage. She also has cerebral palsy, torticollis and is considered blind.

The Fasnacht's say it was hard to deal with the realization that Brooklyn would be disabled. "It hurts me to know that my little sister goes through this," Alexis said.

Alexis says she's worried that people will make fun of Brooklyn.

The community has rallied around the Fasnacht family, and Brooklyn has become an inspiration to many. "I have seen kids that lost faith and just, hope in the world, that came and saw her from being a sick little girl to just amazing," said Anglea Shadbolt. "She really has given hope to a lot of kids that just kind of gave up."

And that's exactly what her parents had wished for.

Brooklyn's father Dale said, "She has shown us that hope never stops."

Brooklyn is also facing another health hurdle: She has been having a hard time gaining weight, so she's having a feeding tube surgically implanted on April 5.

But Brooklyn's parent's say she's a fighter, and they believe she'll be just fine.