When 18-year-old Chloe, a longtime patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children, saw the Barbie® Fashionista™ #121 doll with a prosthetic leg, she was more than excited. “I really was like, ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, finally a doll representing that segment of the population!’”
She wanted to collect as many of the dolls as she could for other kids at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Springfield in Massachusetts, where she has received prosthetic services since she was a toddler.
Chloe’s mom, Cindy, used social media to ask friends and family to purchase the dolls if they saw them, and offered reimbursement. In mid-October, Chloe and her mom delivered more than 400 of these special Barbie dolls – collected through family and friends (none of whom asked for reimbursement) – to the Springfield Shriners Hospital. Mattel Inc., the maker of Barbie, sent an additional 200 dolls to the hospital.
The donated dolls will be shared with Shriners Hospitals for Children’s 16 locations with Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (POPS) programs around the U.S., where our teams design and customize orthotics and prosthetic devices to fit the individual needs of patients. In addition to bringing joy to patients, the dolls will be used in therapeutic education and medical play for children facing amputation – and their siblings – to help explain their situation.
We are very grateful to Chloe, her mom, and the friends and families who supported their efforts. We also thank Mattel for their donation and their commitment to an inclusive range of dolls.