Every now and then, people surprise you. That phrase goes through my head a lot – Buffy the Vampire Slayer said it after she got “Class Protector” award at her prom. People don’t always notice when we try to make waves – ignorance is a choice sometimes – but when they do, the feeling that comes with being acknowledged is too great for words. There are no words to say except, “Thank you, God!” And I have been saying and thinking those words ever since I first got on the computer today.
The number one thing I am grateful for today is the news American Girl doll company has splashed across Facebook and elsewhere. It is soooooo exciting! Apparently, for more than a year, American Girl has been hard at work developing a doll without hair option for girls affected by cancer, alopecia, or any medical condition causing hair loss. Debuting today as part of the My American Girl® line, the new dolls provide even more possibilities for a girl to create a friend that’s as unique as she is. This just about moves me to tears because I grew up with these dolls, still have them in storage, and trust me when I say that if I was a little older when I had cancer (at the time I was diagnosed, I was just about 16 months old, so it wasn’t a big issue with me, since all I played with were basically baby dolls and baby dolls don’t have hair…), I would have dearly loved this option. The people who work for the American Girl doll company just soared to the top of my list of heroes today.
Where I was very pleasantly surprised by this, I shouldn’t be, since this company has had a doll hospital from day one (I sent my own beloved Samantha there twice, once because her eyelashes were falling out and once to get a new head because her hair was so ratty), and they make doll hearing aids now – I would have definitely gotten this feature! – and I’ve seen doll wheelchairs, crutches, leg casts, etc in their catalogs before. I guess the news just shocked me because I wasn’t expecting it. I actually screamed with joy when I saw this on my Facebook newsfeed. I’m very excited for little girls everywhere to have a doll that looks just like them.
There is another thing I wanted to share with you and that is the Creating Hope Act, which will make pharmaceutical companies develop new drugs for the children, not just for adults. The U.S. Senate approved the measure last week, and it will go in front of President Obama in a couple weeks to be signed into law. Now we are getting somewhere! Since 1980 (I was born in 1981), the FDA has approved just ONE new drug for treatment of childhood cancer. ONE. That is pretty unfreakingbelievable, if you ask me. Finally, finally, the children are getting a voice. Finally, they are getting heard, and finally they are being offered hope for a better tomorrow.