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Dolls with mis sing limbs comfort recipients


By Terri Lackey W


hat does a toddler with no arms do when her mom gives her a doll? She hugs


it lovingly with her legs, of course. Especially this doll: a doll with no arms. One that looks just like little Emily. Amy Jandrisevits, creator of A


Doll Like Me, happened into the work of craſt ing dolls with limb diff erences, cuddly replicas of their recipients. You could call it a Frederick


Buechner moment. He is the theo- logian who famously wrote: “T e place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” “Doll making combines my love


of dolls and passion for social work,” said Jandrisevits, a former pediat- ric oncology social worker and a member of Cross Lutheran Church in Milwaukee. In October 2014, a woman asked Jandrisevits to make a doll for her daughter, whose leg had


Kimmy Allison, San Diego.


recently been amputated. “I’d never considered the idea,


but it was a no-brainer,” she said. T e woman posted a picture


of the doll on Facebook, and that photo sparked a business. “I hate calling it a business. I like


to call it a labor of love,” Jandrise- vits said. “I mean, where can you get a doll with missing fi ngers or missing limbs? I have only sold these dolls via Facebook. I’ve been fortunate in that it’s been entirely word of mouth.” Stories and photos of people who


have received Jandrisevits’ dolls are posted on her Facebook page, A Doll Like Me. Aſt er only a month, Jandrisevits


had more than 100 orders. And last December, a video of a surprised


Susan Ferris had for 17 years tried to fi nd a company that could make a doll with an arm and hand like her daughter’s—Rachel, 17, Napa, Calif.


30 www.thelutheran.org


Ellie is the daughter of Miranda Todd, who said that when her doll arrived from Santa last year: “I guess Santa knows my hands!” They live in Texas.


and tearful young girl opening a package with her limb-diff erent doll went viral. By Christmas, Jandrise- vits had 200 orders. T at’s when she called on her


mother, Christine Davis, a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Haw- thorne, Calif., who taught Jandrise- vits to sew and now helps her make dolls and clothes. A friend helps her stuff them. “My mom used to make dolls for


me. It’s so important for children to see themselves represented in their toys—whether it’s skin color, eye color, ethnicity or limb diff erence. I wanted to make a cuddly doll so that children could take them to bed,” Jandrisevits said. She is now attempting to keep


up with orders from all over the world, including Chile, Australia, England, Ireland and Canada. Even without the doll business, she’s


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