Young Pelican athletes shoes are a tribute to late classmate Faith Westby

A young Pelican Rapids athlete carries a tribute to a beloved Pelican Rapids student—every time he takes to the mats. 

“Faith” is inscribed on Jackson Peasley’s wrestling shoes, a memorial to Faith Westby, the Pelican high school student who died in March of 2019 after a lifelong struggle with a genetic medical condition. 

When Jackson heard how sick Faith was he wrote her name on his wrestling shoes and hasn’t been able to part with them since. 

“Gone but never forgotten, the impact people make in the lives of others,” commented Rachel Ziebell, a “wrestling mom,” who regularly photographs wrestling meets; and her pictures are published in the Pelican Rapids Press. 

The Faith inscription, which is visible in the photo here with a close look, caught Rachel’s eye when she spotted it through her camera lense at a recent meet–and brought a tear to her eye. 

Born with Kabuki Syndrome, a genetic mutation that left her with a range of health issues and learning disabilities, Faith also survived tumors on her liver—which had become so threatening that she would need a liver transplant in July  2017. A Special Olympian and an inspiration for all, her story captured widespread media attention. Faith died two years ago, March 16, 2019, at age 16.