BUSINESS

New accessory for American Girl dolls: diabetic care kit

For years, girls with diabetes and their parents have written to American Girl, asking the company to make diabetic accessories for their dolls.

Two years ago, then-11-year-old Anja Busse of Antigo, Wis., created a Change.org petition calling on American Girl to create diabetic accessories and insulin pumps for dolls. The petition garnered 4,335 supporters.

“I have two American Girl dolls, but there's no diabetic supplies so they look just like me,” Busse says in a video posted in January 2014 on the petition website and on an accompanying Facebook page. “I want my doll to be just like me.”

This wish will be realized on Jan. 1, when the company releases a diabetes care kit accessory for dolls.

The kit, which includes a blood sugar monitor, insulin pump and lancet, will be available online and in the company's 21 retail stores and will sell for $24, a spokeswoman said. American Girl is a subsidiary of El Segundo-based Mattel Inc.

“American Girl has a long history of creating items that speak to diversity and inclusion, and the diabetes care kit is yet another way we are expanding in this important area,” Stephanie Spanos, American Girl spokeswoman, said in an email.

American Girl has other accessories, including wheelchairs and hearing aids, as well as dolls without hair. A set of doll arm crutches will also be released Jan. 1.

Busse is now 13 and her mother, Ingrid Busse, said she makes stop-motion movies with her dolls. A friend already purchased a doll diabetes kit in Orlando for Anja Busse and will be shipping it to her.

“She wanted her doll to be like her, but she also wanted other kids to know they’re not alone,” Ingrid Busse said of her daughter's petition. “It’s just amazing. We’re really excited.”

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

4:01 p.m.: Updates with additional details and background

Originally posted at 1:11 p.m.

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