Ten-Year-Old Open Heart Surgery Survivor Petitions American Girl for Dolls with Surgical Chest Scars
Ten-year-old Lamaya Sakales has undergone three open heart surgeries to address a congenital heart defect, and has a scar running through the middle of her chest. Now, inspired by American Girl’s new diabetes care kit for dolls, Lamaya is petitioning the toy company to sell a doll with a surgical chest scar like her own, writing in a Change.org petition
I am a 10 year old girl with Hypoplastic Left Heart, and I’ve had 3 open heart surgeries. I have a scar from those surgeries that is in the middle of my chest. 1 out of every 100 children are born with a congenital heart defect and many require open-heart surgery. If you make a doll with a chest scar, I and many others will feel safe and normal like it doesn’t have to be a secret. The American girl doll company has a history of embracing diversity and ‘a doll for every Child.’ Please make a doll with a chest scar (or a scar kit) for the many kids who live with scars that show their bravery!
Lamaya’s mother Christen Sakales told ABCNews,
There are so many kids who have open-heart surgery scars, and there’s not a lot of awareness out there. This is something they live with for the rest of their lives, and if we can promote awareness and have a little more compassion in this world, it’d be a great thing.
Although toy companies have grown slightly more inclusive over the past few years, Lamaya’s campaign is a reminder that there’s absolutely a lot more that could be done to provide kids with the representation they deserve.
The Sakales family has yet to hear from American Girl, but Lamaya’s petition has already received 4,346 signatures. Considering the diabetes kit that inspired Lamaya was prompted by a similar campaign, I’m optimistic that we’ll be seeing the option for dolls with surgical chest scars soon.
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