When I take my daughters to the American Girl Doll store, I definitely take it for granted that they sell dolls who look just like them. The same cannot be said for children who have suffered limb loss, like 2-year-old Harmonie Allen.
When she was just 11 months old, Harmonie was diagnosed with Meningitis B. Although doctors said she only had a 10 percent chance of survival, incredibly the strong-willed tot pulled through. But she had to have all four of her limbs amputated, as well as the tip of her tiny nose.
It's a heart-breaking story, and there's no doubt both the little girl and her parents have gone through plenty of agony. But Harmonie's mom Freya Hall recently shared one of her daughter's happiest moments: receiving an American Girl doll who was also a quadruple amputee like Harmonie.
Upon receiving the gift, the soon-to-be 3-year-old said, "Mummy, she looks just like me!" Indeed, Hall's aim in giving Harmonie the look-alike doll, which was created by Step Ahead Prosthetics, was to have someone for her little girl to relate to on a daily basis. Rebecca the doll even comes with prosthetics that match Harmonie's.
Now, Pop Sugar reports that Harmonie and her new best friend are doing everything together, from wearing matching outfits, donated by kind strangers who saw her story, to enjoying tea parties. And while Hall says she is thrilled at all the attention her daughter is receiving, she ultimately hopes to bring awareness to the need to vaccinate against the disease that nearly took Harmonie's life.
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.