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Girl with muscular dystrophy petitions American Girl for doll in a wheel chair

Like many ten-year-old girls, Melissa Shang has enjoyed the American Girl dolls. For the last three Christmas mornings, she has had one on her list. She especially loves the Girl of the Year line. Though she thoroughly enjoys waiting in anticipation to see what the new dolls will look like, she wishes one will soon represent something all too familiar to this little girl.

The newest American Girl Doll of the Year
American Girl Doll Promotional Screenshot

Unlike Isabelle, the newest 2014 Doll of the Year announced on the American Girl website, Melissa doesn’t know the joys of spending her days in the ballet studio. Likewise, she doesn’t know the thrill of the 2012 Doll of the Year, McKenna, who athletically flipped and turned her way into gymnastics tournaments.

Melissa Shang was born with a form of muscular dystrophy. She gets around in a wheelchair, but would like nothing more than to see a Girl of the Year doll reflect the challenges and accomplishments she endures daily.

She has created a petition through that is generating quite a bit of attention. She is asking Jean McKenzie, the President of American Girl and Vice-President of Mattel, to consider creating a Girl of the Year who is wheelchair bound.

While the Mattel Company who currently owns the American Girl brand has added accessories like hearing aids, braces, glasses, crutches, and wheelchairs to their line; and a wheelchair-bound tutor played a fairly large role in the 2012 Girl of the Year McKenna movie, the company has not yet brought a doll who is wheelchair bound to the lineup.

She is less than 5,000 signatures away from sending her petition to the next level. Read her entire petition and join the more than 50,000 others who have joined her in this endeavor, here at

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