• “American Girl has a long-standing history of creating dolls that speak to diversity and inclusion." (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Toy company American Girl have released a diabetes care kit for their dolls and in turn helped to brighten up the lives of children who are living with the disease.
By
Jody Phan

6 May 2016 - 3:30 PM  UPDATED 6 May 2016 - 3:33 PM

A change.org petition started by a 13-year-old girl with type 1 diabetes from Wisconsin has convinced American Girl to create a diabetes care kit for their line of dolls.

The New York Times reports that Anja Busse urged American Girl to create the kit after she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes two and a half years ago.

The set of accessories retails for USD$24 and includes 10 tools that kids with type 1 diabetes might use every day, such as a blood sugar monitor, insulin pump and injection pen needle, glucose tablets, medical bracelet, and lancing device.

Since its release, the doll kit has had plenty of praise from children as well as parents of those who are diagnosed with the disease.

“American Girl has a long-standing history of creating dolls that speak to diversity and inclusion,” a spokesperson for the company said.

Other accessories in their range include a wheelchair and service dog, which Anja had also collected before the diabetes kit was introduced.

Anja hopes to use the doll kit to promote awareness of type 1 diabetes, often confused with type 2 diabetes, which can be brought on by poor diet or being overweight.

"There are a lot of things people just don’t understand. They would try to give me advice and say I should be on a diet, or that they had a cure for this," she said.

"One person yelled at me not to eat a cupcake. They confuse it with type 2 diabetes, and all kinds of rumours that aren’t even true."

Type 1 diabetes is genetic and unpreventable. It occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin due to an auto-immune reaction.

Type 2 diabetes is more common and develops due to unhealthy eating habits, but is preventable.

Since its release, the doll kit has had plenty of praise from children as well as parents of those who are diagnosed with the disease.

"There are a lot of things people just don’t understand. They would try to give me advice and say I should be on a diet, or that they had a cure for this."

“I ordered this the day it came out,” a 14-year-old girl wrote. “When my dad showed me, I almost cried. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was seven years old and I bought my first AG doll when I was eight.”

Meanwhile, a mother wrote, “It makes dealing with this disease a little more tolerable.”

"It's very important for kids particularly to feel accepted by the people around them,” one grandmother wrote. "This diabetes care kit will go a long way in helping [my granddaughter] feel 'part of the gang' by giving her an opportunity to talk about and teach others about her diabetes."

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