10-Year-Old Lamaya Sakales' Petition Asks American Girl To Make A Doll With Chest Scars For Heart Surgery Survivors
Lamaya Sakales is not your ordinary 10-year-old: She is the survivor of three open heart surgeries, and she's asking American Girl to create a doll that has a surgical chest scar, like hers. Sakales, who was born with a congenital heart defect, created a Change.org petition asking American Girl to create a doll that will be relatable to not only her, but also to the countless other children who have scars from these kinds of surgeries.
As of right now, the petition has about 4,300 supporters on Change.org. The Sakales family says they have yet to hear from American Girl in response to the petition, but they may have reason to be hopeful: After all, American Girl now has a diabetes supply kit for their dolls after a similar petition went viral. The kit, which includes doll-sized replicas of items needed for most Type 1 Diabetes treatment, such as a blood sugar monitor, insulin pump, insulin pen, and medical bracelet, can be purchased for about $24. The diabetes kit is similar to other diverse add-ons American Girl has already offered, such as glasses, braces, and wheelchairs; so, if a doll with a chest scar isn't possible, perhaps a "scar kit" might be — something which would allow kids to put scars on their dolls' bodies exactly where their own are, widening up the inclusion radius in the process.
While not everyone is a fan of the newer American Girl dolls, and although the company has come under fire a few times in the past, the brand does seem to value the diversity and range of children who play with the dolls. On their website, American Girl explains their "goal has been to create dolls and stories that act as both mirrors and windows — giving girls an opportunity to see a direct reflection of themselves or a chance to learn about a life or culture that may be very different from their own."
Controversy aside, American Girl dolls are a much loved part of many children's younger years. The more diversity, the better, so here's hoping American Girl responds to this petition, which would provide great inclusivity and comfort to so many children. Given that roughly 40,000 babies born each year have a congenital heart defect, I think it's easy to see a lot of children would fall in love with a new and inclusive American Girl doll.
Image: Jeff Sandquist/Flickr