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Parents find unique way to inspire cancer survivor daughter

SAN JACINTO, Calif. -- A 2-year-old cancer survivor with an amputated arm has received a special gift: A kitten that also suffered an amputation.

Matt and Simone Tipton, of Orange County, had been searching for a kitten for their daughter, Scarlette, who was born with a rare form of cancer. Scarlette's left arm had to be amputated when she was 10 months old.

Doctors say she's now cancer free.

Scarlette's parents wanted to find a kitten that had undergone an amputation surgery to help in their daughter's ongoing recovery. That's when they heard about Holly, a kitten two women found bleeding from a traumatic injury in December.

The kitten's left front leg was amputated and it wasn't expected to survive very long, reports The Press Enterprise newspaper. But it did.

The family drove to the San Jacinto animal shelter to adopt it -- on Christmas Eve.

Matt Tipton told the newspaper that, in addition to her amputated arm, Scarlette has fake skin near her ribs because skin grafts wouldn't take. She's scheduled for a surgery in mid-February where some of her existing skin will be used to replace the synthetic skin.

"More or less pull the skin tight and zip her up," said Matt Tipton, 34, a contractor for a waterproofing company.

According to The Press Enterpriee, Simone Tipton, 25, "said it was important for her daughter to understand that in spite of her circumstances, she persevered, and that she's not the only one to have faced adversities."