Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tribute to the Bald + Beautiful Three Year Old


American Girl

MGA Bratz
MGA's Bratz Bald and Beautiful Dolls

Earlier this year, lifetime friends of ours, found out (literally overnight) that their three year old precious daughter has leukemia. My husband and I were immediately stuck by this news in ways we didn't know how to process. We have a three year old ourselves and questioned, what must that be like to receive this type of news? Then, merely months later, a Connecticut girlfriend of mine found out similar news about her three year old daughter. What? I went from not knowing anyone directly affected with childhood leukemia to now knowing two wonderful families that are impacted.

When an occurrence like this happens to someone that you care about, you wonder in so many ways how you can help and be there for them. It also makes you evaluate your own life and the time that you spend with your own children. I hug my children a little tighter and a little longer. I say an extra-long prayer of thankfulness for the time my own family has together. Admittedly, sometimes, I even feel guilty that I am so blessed and lucky. A situation like this teaches you to never take any loved one for granted.

Thankfully, the prognosis for most childhood leukemia’s is extremely positive. But what exactly does this mean? Do you know that a cancer treatment regimen for a child is at least three years? (No, it's not a 6 week dose of radiation and then done). This means a rigorous two to three (at least) visits a week to the hospital for tests and prods and analyses. It means not traveling farther than a quick driving distance away from your physician (just in case a fever transpires and the child needs immediate admittance). It often means that your child does not play with other children for fear of infection. It means each hospital visit may be a 'quick check up' or unexpectedly turn into an entire day event of transfusions, test, pokes, punctures...

I don't dare claim to be an expert on this subject. It's these wonderful families that deserve all of the credit. They find ways to carry on, to exude hope, to be strong--not only for their children, but for the countless family members and friends that look to them for answers. The parents become walking experts on the subject. They become pillars of strength for everyone around them.

Where am I going with all of this? This year, several major doll manufacturers have announced that they are finally going to introduce a doll that represents children that have lost their hair due to cancer or other hair loss related illnesses (e.g. alopecia or trichotillomania). Mattel will produce 10,000 limited edition dolls and also distribute dolls to Children's Hospitals. American Girl is accepting special orders for the dolls (call 1-800-628-5145). MGA's Bratz dolls are producing dolls without hair and without the possibility to accessorize the dolls with a wig. They want to prove that you don't have to have hair to be beautiful.

This, of course, doesn't cure leukemia, or cancer, or take away any of the worries these families face on a daily basis. But maybe, it will go a small way in putting a smile on a little child's face that is filled with hope and promise for a healthy and prosperous future.

In prep for this post, I happened to also discover that Dr. Laura Berman is under going her own courageous battle against cancer.  In the midst of losing her hair, her entire family has decided to shave their own heads.  I think it's a wonderful display of  love.  And whether it's on a Barbie, a Bratz, American Girl or a living human, I'm convinced that bald is just beautiful

Dr. Laura

morrow, back to mixed up patterns and crazy colorful decor, I promise. I just wanted to honor those dealing with much more than fabric patterns. Even if it's in some small, minuscule way.   It helps keep things in perspective

(L.E. and M.R. thinking of you precious little girls daily).

If you'd like to follow more of this endeavor on facebook, check the Beautiful and Bald Barbie page. 

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