An American grandmother has raised $9,000 (£7,332) for the type 1 diabetes charity, JDRF, by making 300 rag dolls by hand.
Connie Cagle’s grandson Dane Egizi was diagnosed with the condition aged two and this prompted Connie to help raised funds for the JDRF.
She called the 18-inch toys her Heart’s Desire Dolls because it is Connie’s “heart’s desire” to find a cure for type 1 diabetes.
Each toy is made with a name and a birthday on its back which is created the day Connie paints the heart which comes complete with an uplifting message. She also paints their faces and every doll comes with its own beaded bracelet.
Connie, who is from California, told the US newspaper The Sun that sewing the toys also helped her recover from cancer treatment which she had undergone.
She said: “The therapy of sewing them saved my life. I could sit down, focus and get the job done, and discovered I had a passion for it.
“I love colour, sewing and painting and I get to do all three making my dolls. I love the joy the dolls bring to people, who always smile when they see them.”
The handcrafted dolls have either been gifted to people, donated for fundraisers or sold to raise money to the JDRF.
Cathy Sleva, Executive Director of the Orange County chapter of the JDRF, said: “Donations are critical to fund the cutting-edge research we are doing. Everyone has a part to play and can contribute in a meaningful way.”
Connie sews for about 10 hours a day and has estimated it takes about four days to create and finish a doll. She charges $45 (£37) and is also able to make different characters such as superheroes, vampires and pirates.
Her love of sewing began five years ago when Connie decided to make a doll for her friend from Peru.
She said: “She never had dolls when she was growing up,” the Redlands woman said. “I thought, ‘What could be more American than a Raggedy Ann doll?'”
Image source: The Sun (

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