A teenage girl created dolls resembling kids with rare and unique medical conditions to make them feel included and loved.
Children find comfort and connection to dolls that resemble them. Ariella Pacheco experienced connecting to a doll as a kid and that’s what ignited the desire in her to create dolls for kids with rare medical conditions. As a child, she remembers choosing a doll that looked like her.
“She looked like me and I felt there was a piece of me in her,” the senior high school student said. “You see yourself in a doll and it’s really special to have that connection.”
Kids with unique medical conditions
Ariella was inspired by Amy Jandrisevits, a Milwaukee doll designer who created the “A Doll Like Me” project. It is a project that provides custom dolls for children with disabilities. For Ariella’s annual service project for her school’s National Honor Society chapter, she decided to create dolls for children with unique medical conditions.
The 17-year-old student partnered with Fresh Start Surgical Gifts in Carlsbad, California to choose her subjects. Fresh Start Surgical Gifts is an organization that provides free medical treatment for kids in need.
“It was a very kind and big-hearted gesture on her part to make dolls that will help a child feel like they’re not alone,” Fresh Start chief development officer Michelle Pius said.
Ariella didn’t have experience in doll-making, but she learned the art by watching YouTube videos.
“The whole time I was trying to put as much love into it as I could and hoped they represented each child faithfully,” Ariella said. “I really value the beauty in the little things. Each of these kids [is] so unique, so special… I hope through these dolls they can see themselves in a new light and really embrace their beauty.”
They were able to come up with four children as the subjects of Ariella’s dolls. One doll she designed with a facial birthmark, another with surgical scars, and the others with facial feature issues.
“You’re all so beautiful and no matter what anybody tells [you] your unique qualities really make who you are and that’s really special.”
Reference: Good News Network