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Byron 3-year-old representing amputees as child shoe model

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Inspiring Adeline

BYRON (WREX) — The Runyards look like your average family.

Rachel and Brett spend most of their time wrangling two little girls.

3-year-old Adeline and 18-month-old Olivia.

From running laps around the house, to dancing to music videos on the tv, even coloring becomes a very vocal adventure for the sisters.

This probably sounds like your garden variety household with young kids but its far from that.

A closer look at young Adeline shows she is anything but ordinary.

Her left foot, involved in all the running and dancing, is fake.

She was born without her foot due to Amniotic Band Syndrome, a condition that effects one in 1200 kids.

"We found out 20 weeks into the pregnancy so we had some time to prepare," Adeline's mom Rachel Runyard said.

"It wasn't just becoming parents for the first time. It was being introduced to something that we've never been a part of before."

Adeline has a full prosthetic for the bottom part of her leg so she can run and have fun like the average kid.

However, these legs don't last long as the young girl is constantly growing and getting too big for them to fit.

It's a process that can be quite painful for Adeline.

"We have to go up to Madison quite a bit for adjustments because she's in pain because her leg is growing and the prosthetic doesn't fit anymore," Rachel Runyard said.

The difficulties Adeline is going through are not in vain.

In fact, her condition is being put in the national spotlight.

When she was just one, many people told Adeline's parents to look into modeling for her daughter.

After much research, they got in contact with a modeling agency which connected them with StrideRite, which is a prominent shoe company for kids.

The Runyard's were brought out to New Jersey for a photo shoot, which was a bit of a culture shock, but it also made it clear how much care was going into the message Adeline would soon be representing.

"I didn't want her to be a part of any modeling agency. I wanted her to be a part of something that might make a difference," Rachel Runyard said.

Adeline's dad Brett saw this modeling venture as a way to help build the young girl's confidence and be okay with being different.

This may very well happen not just for her, but for kids like her around the country.

"If she's going to be an ambassador and people want to call it that along the way, that's awesome," Brett Runyard said.

The biggest lesson Adeline's parents have already learned through raising her is just how adaptable and strong children can be through adversity.

They adapt and overcome in so many different ways and she has not let this slow her down at all," Rachel Runyard said.

The Runyard's are now expecting a third child and they are so excited to making their family bigger as Adeline grows into an ambassador, and hopefully a kind person others can look up to.

If you know anyone, now matter how young or old, who is making change in our community, you can fill out a nomination for here or you can reach out to eleake@wrex.com.

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Evan Leake

Evan Leake anchors for 13 News Today and 13 News at Noon. Evan grew up in Darien, Illinois, a south-west suburb of Chicago. He came to WREX in 2017 and worked his way to the anchor desk in May of 2019. He coordinates both the Teacher of the Week and Inspiring 815 series for 13 News. You can connect with Evan at eleake@wrex.com or Evan Leake on Facebook.

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