Wisconsin Woman Creates Unique Dolls that Look Just Like the Kids Who Receive Them
For Amy Jandrisevits, making dolls that look like the children who receive them isn’t just a hobby, it’s her passion. She says that a way a doll looks can impact a child’s self-image, especially for those who are born with a physical difference or experience a change due to a disease, illness or any other trauma that changes their appearance.
Working as a social worker in a pediatric oncology center, Jandrisevits found that playing with dolls could provide a different kind of therapy for children needing an emotional boost. Then, a parent asked her if she could make a doll for her daughter whose leg had just been amputated. That’s when Jandrisevits realized there wasn’t any company offering different types of dolls that were more representative and diverse in appearance.
“We do such a bad job as a society representing any kind of difference, really.”
That’s when she started “A Doll Like Me” and turned her lifelong love of doll-making into a passion project. She says demand for her customized creations has never been greater. She’s made over 300 dolls in the past four years and has a long wait list. She creates the dolls free of charge and covers most costs through a GoFundMe page.
Any time Jandrisevits needs a reminder about the importance of the work she’s doing, she watches a Facebook video posted by the parents of a young girl with a left-hand deformity receiving her “A Doll Like Me”.
“It literally was the first time she’d seen anything that resembles her.”
Here’s a like to the Doll Like Me Facebook page.