This is Katie Hebert with her doll with a stomach feeding tube and brother Nathan. "We heated up a skewer and used it to melt a hole in the doll's stomach and then just placed the tube as usual," says mom Kyla. "The kids thought the 'operation' was so cool."
Katie has suspected mitochondrial disease and her family in Texas has adapted her dolls to be like her. I received Katie's photos, and many from other families, after our story about Melissa Shang and her petition to have American Girl release a doll with a disability. We'll share more pictures in the BLOOM print magazine later this month. And...I am interviewing Melissa and her older sister Eva tomorrow about their campaign to see kids with disabilities represented in dolls and books and media.
Below is a picture of Katie with a monkey with a g-tube made for her by Tubie Friends, a non-profit that adapts toys free of charge so that they have medical equipment or features like their owners. "They do all kinds of modifications, feeding tubes and traches and ports and even heart-surgery scars," Kyla says.
And below that is Katie with an American Girl doll who has a wheelchair, glasses and a sock-monkey hat like her.