A brave 10-year-old open heart surgery survivor is petitioning for American Girl dolls with chest scars

Growing up many of us adored American Girl dolls, and part of the reason was the fact that the dolls were meant to look like us. Built on the mantra “A doll for every child,” the company has always been proactive about introducing new characters and features to allow children to see themselves in their dolls. But one girl has a special request. Lamaya Sakales wants a doll that includes a scar from open heart surgery.

The 10-year-old girl and her mom, Christen, started a Change.org campaign to try to encourage American Girl to create a doll or kit for children who live with chest scars due to heart problems. Lamaya has hypoplastic left heart, or half a heart. As a result of the three open heart surgeries she’s had, she has scars in the middle of her chest. So what does she want? She wants her American Girl doll to look like her. “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,” Lamaya shares on her campaign page. Her petition has been signed by over 4,460 people, just shy of the goal of 5,000.

In an interview with ABC Action News, Lamaya also highlighted why a doll with a chest scar will be so helpful for the around 1 in 100 children who suffer from congenital heart defects. “If they’re feeling overwhelmed they can look at their doll’s chest scars and feel like they’re awesome, they’re brave, they’re cool.”

In the past American Girl has responded to requests from the public by releasing special kits and dolls that include diabetic kits, hearing aids, wheelchairs, and other features that reflect reality for the kids who love their toys. If Lamaya’s campaign is successful, it will be one step further in the quest to make sure that every child does have a doll that looks like them and makes them feel that much better about themselves.

You can sign Lamaya’s petition here.

[Image via Change.org]