American Girl is finally releasing diabetic care kits for dolls.
A bold 11-year-old has been fighting for two years to get American Girl to make diabetic care kits for their dolls. Now, it seems, she’s finally able to declare her mission a success. On January 1, American Girl will release their first-ever diabetes supplies for dolls.
The new kits are partly the result of a lot of hard work by 11-year-old Anja Busse, who created a Change.org petition nearly two years ago, asking American Girl to start them. Busse had been diagnosed with diabetes only three months earlier and felt like having the accessories for her doll would help her and other kids like her feel less alone. On her petition, she wrote:
“I feel so different now and my whole life has been turned around. I want to have diabetic accessories for my American Girl doll so she is just like me. I just want everyone to feel good about themselves no matter if they have something ‘wrong with them.’ Whether they have a disability, blindness, deaf, diabetes, and so much more! It’s important to feel good about yourself!”
The petition quickly amassed over 4,000 signatures and was sent to the executive vice president of American Girl. Now, about 24 months later, American Girl has created a $24 set of diabetic care items for their dolls that includes an insulin pump, glucose monitor, lancing device, insulin pen, glucose tablets, a medical alert bracelet, diabetes log book, and adorable zip-up bag in which to store it all. In a post on her Diabetic American Girl Facebook page, Busse shared pictures of the diabetic care kit and wrote, “I am declaring victory!”
Since Busse posted her photos of the kits, they’ve been shared over 2,000 times. According to the Los Angeles Times, American Girl has gotten dozens of requests for the kits over the years, so lots of people are excited about their release. In an email to the Times, an American Girl spokesperson said creating the kits for dolls just made sense. “American Girl has a long history of creating items that speak to diversity and inclusion,” she wrote, “and the diabetes care kit is yet another way we are expanding in this important area.”
According to the American Diabetes Association, about 23,525 youth under 20 are diagnosed with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes each year. There are also about 29.1 million Americans of all ages currently living with diabetes. Busse’s diabetic doll care kits are important, not only because they give kids with diabetes a new way to relate to their favorite toy and feel a little less alone, but also because they raise awareness about the important issue of juvenile diabetes and just how many young people are affected.
American Girl did a great thing in creating these kits, and it’s wonderful to see Anja and other kids like her having their voices heard.