A 10 year old girl with muscular dystrophy is petitioning Mattel, the owner of the American Girl Doll brand, to release a disabled American Girl doll. Melissa Shang lives in Paoli, Pa., and suffers from a condition that stops her from running, skating and participating in other physical activities with other girls her age. Melissa explains that she loves American Girl Dolls, partly because they help her “understand how it feels to be someone else.”
Melissa and her sister YingYing are hoping Mattel will now help other girls understand what its like to be disabled.
“For once, I don’t want to be invisible or a side character that the main American Girl has to help,” Melissa states on her petition page. “I want the other girls to know what it’s like to be me, through a disabled American Girl’s story.”
“Disabled girls are American girls too,” Melissa says. “We face challenges and overcome them every day.”