Mother Is Brought to Tears After She Finds a Doll Just Like Her Daughter
Lifestyle| | By Margo Gothelf
When Meredith Bailey’s daughter was diagnosed with alopecia areata, she wanted her to feel normal and included. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. Bailey’s daughter Mia was diagnosed with the condition when she was just 4 years old and during a recent trip to their American Girl Doll store, Bailey found a doll just like her daughter. For Bailey’s daughter to see a doll just like her made all the difference in the world.
“These dolls were not hidden in the back and had to be asked for…to little girls who may feel ‘alone’ and so desperately want to see dolls that reflect their beauty — it means more than you know,” Bailey wrote in a post to American Girl. “I cried many happy tears yesterday. Thank you so much for including ALL children.” Bailey first found out about the dolls when she was shopping around for Mia’s eighth birthday. Bailey learned the dolls could be purchased and immediately placed an order so her daughter could have one on Christmas. “It was her number one Christmas present, and luckily good old Santa Claus pulled through and got her one,” Bailey shared with Today. “I knew she wanted the doll, but I didn’t realize the happiness it would bring. I can’t put it into words — she had a doll that was just like her — it was a piece of her.” Bailey’s daughter was ecstatic about the doll and asked her mom if other kids her age wanted to buy dolls without hair. “I said of course, because a girl may have a friend with alopecia like her, or they may just think she’s beautiful and want one,” Bailey explained. “She then asked why they weren’t at the store. I didn’t have a good answer, and I was sad. I wondered, too, why? Why do they have to be special ordered? Why can’t there be just one there? For her, and for all the little girls with alopecia, they deserved to see this doll with all the other ones.” During a recent trip to the American Girl Doll store, Bailey and her daughter were happy to find out that there were multiple dolls on display without hair. “We traveled up the escalator and the first display we see is a trundle bed with a doll without hair sitting there,” said Bailey. “We both yelled with excitement. Mia sat her doll right there with the other doll and beamed.” She continued, “Next, we weaved our way around the store and found another one behind glass. That’s when I cried. These dolls weren’t hidden, they were up on display with pride.” American Girl has gone out of their way to create dolls for everyone. Stephanie Spanos, senior public relations manager for American Girl, explained the company “has a long-standing commitment to creating products that girls in various circumstances can identify with.” Along with making dolls without any hair, American Girl is known for making dolls with hearing aids, diabetic testing kits, and wheelchairs. “We love Meredith’s post and the happiness our dolls without hair have brought to her and her family,” Spanos shared. “We know that when a girl owns a doll that is a reflection of her, it provides a sense of connection and belonging. It’s a responsibility we take very seriously and girls like Meredith’s daughter inspire us every day.” As Bailey and her daughter left American Girl that day, they stopped to thank the manager for displaying the dolls. “A little girl may feel more comfortable seeing my daughter in public because American Girl started a conversation between this child and her parent at a store, or when the magazine came to their house,” said Bailey. “I feel like the company almost empowers these girls.”
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