“I am declaring victory!” announced 13-year-old Anja Busse. In January 2014, Anja, who has type 1 diabetes, started a petition on Change.org requesting that American Girl, a retailer of dolls and toys, produce a “diabetes care kit” for their dolls. She wanted a doll that represented her and the thousands of other young girls with type 1 diabetes.
And, after 4,335 signatures, American Girl listened. From January 1, the retailer will sell the diabetes care kit for $24, both online and in their 21 retail stores. The kit includes an insulin pump, insulin pen, lancing device, blood glucose meter, glucose tablets, medical alert bracelets, diabetes log books, and insulin pump skin stickers.
“It is on sale right now at American Girl stores for $24 and will be available for purchase online starting in January,” said Anja. “Thank you so much to everyone that let American Girl know through the years that you wanted this and for those of you who signed the petition.”
American Girl is known for its diverse and inclusive range of dolls, including some without hair, with wheelchairs and with hearing aids.
But until now, there hadn’t been one for girls with type 1 diabetes.
“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,” said American Girl spokeswoman Stephanie Spanos to the Los Angeles Times.
Ingrid, Anja’s mother, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about how proud she was of her daughter.
“She wanted her doll to be like her, but she also wanted other kids to know they’re not alone. It’s just amazing. We’re really excited.”