Non-profit A Doll Like Me hand crafts dolls to reflect the special characteristics of their owners.

Everyday Heroes

Woman Makes Custom Dolls to Match Children's Disabilities

When she saw the lack of diversity in dolls on the market, she came up with a great idea.


For some kids, finding a doll that looks like them isn't always easy. That's why Amy Jandrisevits of New Berlin, WI, started making custom dolls to bring joy to children with unique features.

She creates the dolls to match each child's disability, whether it's a cleft pallet, limb difference or any other physical characteristic that makes their appearance unique. Amy makes the dolls by hand, and she works closely with each family to make sure the dolls resemble the child as much as possible.

Amy Jandrisevits' hand-crafted dolls reflect the unique features of the child for which it is intended.

Amy's career as a social worker for pediatric oncology helped her to come up with the idea for the dolls. She wants them to be a comfort for children who are getting ready for scary medical procedures.

"You want to do medical play so they know what's coming," she told WebMD. "And when you're working with a child, you want the doll to look like the kid so they can actually do that."

Amy recently announced that her company, A Doll Like Me, Inc. , has received non-profit status. Now, people can raise money and purchase the dolls through tax-deductible donations. Just last week, Milwaukee Wave player Andre Wayne sponsored and delivered a doll to 11-year-old Jaida Coleman-Davis. The doll has a shortened left leg and no hair to match Jaida's physical appearance after she underwent chemo and a surgery that removed her femur and rotated her leg in order to fit a prosthetic.

Jaida beamed when she received the doll.

"I finally got it," she said in a story for WISN-TV . "It [the doll] has my leg, my eyes and I have the same headband."

Jaida Coleman-Davis poses with her new custom doll.

Amy stresses the importance of young children having dolls that look like them. She believes we do kids a disservice by not offering a diverse variety of toys.

"In an ideal world, limb difference, body type, medical condition, birthmarks and hand differences would be as accepted as all of the other things that make us unique." - Amy Jandrisevitz

She hopes the dolls will provide the extra coaching needed to help the kids feel proud of who they are, despite their differences.

Check out the video below where a little girl notices a boy with the same 'spots' as her in a story about Amy's company that was recently featured in People magazine. Amy included the hashtag #representationmatters when she shared the video on Facebook .

If you would like to purchase or sponsor a doll, you can send Amy a direct message on Facebook .

(Source: Images & video A Doll Like Me Facebook )

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