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Woman Creates 'A Doll Like Me' For Children Who Have Disabilities

16.04.2019

As nice as it is to find a personalized key chain that lines up with your name in a gift shop, those of us with unusual names often don't have that luxury. But ultimately, that's not a big deal. There are other ways to make our luggage stand out, and many of our places are cluttered up enough.

But there's another case where personalizing keepsakes to match their owners seriously matters and one doll-maker is doing her part to make a massive difference.

This is the story of A Doll Like Me. It's really quite simple and I like to think of it more like a ministry than a business. My name is Amy and I am a doll-maker who feels that every kid, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, medical issue, or body type, should have a doll who looks like them.  

In my life pre-children, I was a social worker in a pediatric oncology unit. In my time working with the kids, I used dolls in play therapy to help the children express themselves. Dolls are therapeutic in so many ways - ways that I'm not sure we fully understand. It is a human likeness and by extension, a representation of the child who loves it.   

One day I realized that the dolls’ thick hair and perfect health were doing the kids I was working with a disservice as they were often faced with a wide variety of physical challenges. Many kids have never have had the opportunity to see their sweet faces reflected in a doll. It's hard to tell a child that they are beautiful but follow it with - but you'll never see yourself in anything that looks like you.

About four years ago, I was making non-traditional Raggedy Ann dolls. My favorite was a Raggedy Ann for a little girl who was transitioning - green cropped hair and a Ninja Turtle outfit!  A friend of a friend saw it and shared him. A woman whose daughter had just had a leg amputated reached out and asked if I could make a doll for her. It was like lightning in a jar. In the past four years, I’ve personally made over 300 dolls and there are a lot of people still on the waitlist.

Visit Amy's GoFundMe page.