Adorable 10-Year-Old Girl Petitions For A Disabled “American Girl” Doll

This is Melissa Shang, a 10-year-old who suffers from Charcot-Marie-Tooth, a form of muscular dystrophy.

Like a lot of young kids, Melissa has fallen in love with American Girl dolls, but she says there isn’t a doll “like her” available. So she recorded this heartwarming and articulate video directed at the company.

“I’ve read all the American Girl doll books, and I’ve seen all the movies, and I’m ready for an American Girl doll who looks like me,” she says.

“Disabled girls are American girls too. We face challenges and overcome them everyday.”

The petition that Melissa and her older sister started in December has since garnered over 130,000 signatures.

The petition reads:

When I was seven, like most of my classmates, I fell in love with American Girl dolls—historical and modern girls with stories about overcoming obstacles. I’ve read all of the books, seen all of the movies, and even visited the American Girl Place in New York City. For the past three years, I’ve asked for an American Girl doll for Christmas.

However, none of the American Girl Girls of the Year are like me. None of them have a disability.

Being a disabled girl is hard. Muscular Dystrophy prevents me from activities like running and ice-skating, and all the stuff that other girls take for granted. For once, I don’t want to be invisible or a side character that the main American Girl has to help: I want other girls to know what it’s like to be me, through a disabled American Girl’s story.

As of now, you can buy a wheelchair as an accessory for any doll, but apparently no specific girl has a story or book about being disabled.


American Girl did not respond immediately to say whether they were aware of the petition, or were considering releasing a doll with a physical disability.

Melissa with her sister YingYing

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