More than 600 Barbies with Prosthetic Legs Donated to Children of…

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Chloe with her Barbie donation

When 18-year-old Chloe, a longtime patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children®, saw that Barbie® made a doll with a prosthetic leg – the Barbie Fashionista™ Doll #121 – she was more than excited, and she wanted to share them with others like her, too.

On Monday, Chloe and her mom delivered more than 400 of the Barbie dolls – collected through family and friends – to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Springfield in Massachusetts. Mattel, Inc., maker of Barbie, sent an additional 200 dolls to the hospital. Chloe was able to present one of the dolls to a fellow patient during her visit, and she says she hopes her donation will help other kids and teens with limb differences feel more confident.

As a teen with a prosthetic leg, Chloe didn’t have a doll that looked like her while growing up, so she knew this would mean a lot to others with limb differences. She decided she wanted to collect as many of the dolls as she could for other kids at the Springfield Shriners Hospital, where she has received prosthetic services since she was a toddler.

Chloe’s mom, Cindy, took to social media to ask friends and family to purchase the dolls as they found them, offering to pay. The request went viral and eventually Barbie herself got word of their efforts and replied to a tweet from Chloe’s brother who shared the story on Twitter. “The world needs #MoreRoleModels like Chloe. Sending a little something your way, @shrinershosp,” said the Tweet from Barbie. Donations poured in, filling Chloe’s dining room. No one asked to be reimbursed.

The donated dolls will serve as tools in therapeutic education and medical play for kids facing amputation – and their siblings – to help explain their situation, says Brock McConkey, CPO, Manager, Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (POPS) — Northeast, LLC. McConkey is the prosthetist who has fabricated and fitted Chloe with her legs for most of her life, and the person she says inspired her to make the donation.

This generous gift will be shared with Shriners Hospitals for Children’s 16 Pediatric Orthotics and Prosthetics Services (POPS) locations around the U.S., where our teams design and customize orthotics and prosthetic devices that are tailored to the unique needs of each patient.

We are very grateful to Chloe, her mom, and the friends and families who supported these efforts, and to Mattel for their donation and their inclusive range of dolls to inspire kids like Chloe.

About Shriners Hospitals for Children

Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Our locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico provide advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, regardless of the families’ ability to pay.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. For more information, please visit

To watch or download video footage from Chloe’s Barbie donation, click here.


Jennifer Tross

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Springfield


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Published at Wed, 16 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0000