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Mom Makes Incredible Custom Dolls For Kids With Disabilities And Illnesses

custom dolls, kids
Facebook/A Doll Like Me

Dealing with illness and disability is difficult for anyone, but kids have it especially hard. Not only is it a struggle to cope with regularly feeling unwell, but many differently-abled and terminally ill children also face bullying and feel ostracized for being different. However, one mom wants to help alleviate some of loneliness that can come with these conditions by making custom dolls for affected children.

Amy Jandrisevits is a Wisconsin doll maker and mom runs her company, A Doll Like Me, from her dining room table. There, she makes incredible lookalike dolls by hand for kids who struggle to find toys that look like them on store shelves. She creates dolls that match the child’s skin color, amputation, and/or disability to ensure that each child feels represented.

A Doll Like Me has become so popular that the $100 custom dolls now have a waiting list of two years. The company started back in 2015 when one of her mom friends asked her to make a custom doll for her daughter whose leg had been amputated. After sharing an image of the finished product on Facebook, the business immediately took off.

As Jandrisevits explained to PEOPLE, “Differences make kids feel isolated and judged. With the doll, a child sees, ‘I am not the only one who looks this way…and beautiful enough to be a doll.'” To date, she has made more than 400 dollars, many of which were provided to low-income parents free of cost via A Doll Like Me’s GoFundMe page.

While Jandrisevits is working solo with a huge backlog of orders, she doesn’t mind putting in long hours since the payoff of seeing so many happy, smiling kids is so big. “I am invited to such an intimate part of families’ lives. I love that connection,” she says. Something tells me the families are just as thankful for it.

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Written by Jennifer Still