A Frozen American Girl (give away)

*PLEASE NOTE: THE GIVE-A-WAY PORTION OF THE POST BELOW ENDED ON 1/6/16… the frozen shoulder is starting to get better, or shall I say “thaw”? Thanks! 

I keep starting and stopping a post I’ve been writing about how I was diagnosed with Frozen shoulder a few months ago.  It’s another bizarre complication of T1D and I did not have an easy time getting it diagnosed (2 doctors thought it was a partial tear of the rotator cuff although I suspected frozen shoulder but they thought I had too much mobility for it to be frozen), 3 failed MRI’s (it was impossible to keep my arm still at that weird angle for so long), and the absurd amount of time I had to wait to get into physical therapy (insurance, referrals, etc).  2 things seem to have accelerated the “freeze” this past Fall… I started boxing again and the trainer kept having me do push-ups on a strange angle and the fact that I ride my bike in Manhattan and have to keep reminding myself to loosen up and hold my shoulders down (I suspect I ride looking like I’m holding on for dear life… because I AM).

Due to this insurance mess, this morning was my last session at physical therapy.  I still have more sessions to go (pre approved) but can’t use them since my plan is being discontinued (12/31) and will have to start this process all over again next month with new insurance.  GRRRRR.

Iontophoresis? Yes please!

Iontophoresis? Yes please!

This week I received a return check from a deposit I had to put on my home many, many years ago.  I was quite surprised and decided 1/2 would go to something special.

When I left physical therapy this morning, there were police barricades every which way and I was redirected to walk across Rockefeller Center.  Big tree, tourists a’plenty, and my path blocked.  There were hundreds of officers standing in line on 5th Avenue.  Today was the funeral of NYPD Detective and Air National Guard technical sergeant Joseph Lemm, who was killed by a suicide bomber last week in Afghanistan.  It was another reminder of just how short this life is, as he leaves behind a wife and 2 children.  When I finished navigating barricades, I was standing in front of the American Girl flagship store which opens at 9am (surprise).

Yesterday my social media newsfeeds and emails were inundated with postings about how The American Girl Company had released a diabetes care kit for American Girl dolls.  So, for the first time in my life, I walked into an American Girl store (holy smokes, kid culture shock), and asked for the diabetes doll stuff.  Yep, they had it on display.  It includes:

Diabetes storage case, ID card, medical bracelet, glucose monitor and lancet device, glucose tab container, an insulin pump, an insulin pen, some stickers, adhesive disk, and a log book.

American Girl Diabetes Care Kit

American Girl Diabetes Care Kit

I did not cry in the store since I was still shocked I was there and have also never understood American Girl dolls.  These dolls weren’t around in my time (I was all about Barbie) but my sister had them.  I always thought they were focused on historical periods which confused the heck out of me because why would Kit from 1934 be hanging out with Samantha from 1904 and why would either of them have inline skates?  Made zero sense to me.

This morning, I learned that there are a TON of these dolls and the American History dolls are just one part.  Kids, well parents, get the dolls to look like the kid.  They have a whole resturant in the store where people go to have tea with their doll.  Kids have birthday parties and all bring their American girl dolls along… and NOW that kid with T1D, can have accessories (a whole kit) that gives their doll the very same devices they use to manage and thrive with T1D.  Yep, no tears until right this very second.  I never grew up with an insulin pump and blood glucose meters came later in my diabetes days (I = Barbie playing dinosaur) but I did play a heck of a lot of sports.  American Girl dolls have a zillion sport accessory options (A ZILLION) and NOW they have diabetes equipment options too. Amazing.  Truly Me!

American Girl TRULY ME

American Girl TRULY ME

I took  home deposit money and bought some American Girl Diabetes Care Kits and then I did what any grown woman would do after being a kid in a toy store… I called my Mom.  Although she was flabbergasted that this diabetes equipment exists for dolls, she was more surprised that for all these years, I’d thought American Girl dolls should have been called Time Traveler dolls.

I now have 6 American Girl Diabetes Kits to GIVE away and my Mom suggested I give them away right here.  So in the comments, please tell me why you would like the Care kit and my Mom will pick out the winners (and I’ll notify you via the comments section by 1/6/16 and I will pick-up the shipping.  Shipping outside of the US will take a bit longer though).

AG box

I ask one thing in return though, that you pay it forward.

On the other side of Pain is Wisdom.  xo

And for more information on how this American Girls diabetes care kit happened check out this story from the LA Times.


38 thoughts on “A Frozen American Girl (give away)

  1. Congratulations on making it all the way home before crying! I was in happy tears halfway through the story in the LA Times. 30-year-old T1D here, diagnosed 22 years ago (and a couple of years before getting my own Addy American Girl Doll for Christmas). I have been working on my A1C for years in hopes of starting a family, and am happy to report that I’m now six months along and expecting a GIRL! While it is terrifying that she may inherit a delinquent pancreas from me, I know that if push-comes-to-shove I can be a great guide for her. I’d love to win this care kit because I am looking forward to playing with it myself, and maybe a few years down the line with my daughter!

  2. When i found out about these kits a few days ago i had a few thoughts! Wow this is amazing ! Im so proud of the child who created this. But also – why would you want your ‘doll’ to ‘suffer’ as you do. Then it hit me. Empathy. No one wants to do this alone. I know i dont. I think thats why we all get so excited when we see others with pumps!! I know if i were a young girl id want “someone like me” to share my days with! Ive had type 1 for 15 years. I was blessed that this broken body gave me a daughter ( and son). I would hope having a kit like this for her dolls would help her understand Mommy. Shes so interested in my pump and i think having this kit would bring us even closer <3. Thats as close as i hope shell ever be to this disease.

    PS-so sorry about the frozen shoulder , i know how painful that can be 🙁

  3. I have never really understood American Girl dolls either. I never had one and My oldest does not do dolls. Well, as my family gathered last week for Christmas, I found out that my youngest had asked for a AG doll for Christmas. She had told my mom, but never told me. So my mom had gotten a doll that looked like my daughter. It’s not a true American Girl, but my daughter couldn’t be happier. It has everything she has, minus a pump and dexcom. She hasn’t put this doll down since last week, she puts her in pajamas to go to bed & dresses her when they get up. I can’t think of anything better than a diabetes care kit to go with her new friend.
    And good luck with the shoulder. I Had frozen shoulder & a torn rotator cuff, not sure which came first though.

  4. I feel that this is completely amazing and the way it came about is awesome as well!! I would love to win this kit to donate to my daughters friend who has t1D. Totally amazing blog post though and I was just at that store two weeks ago lol I live in Brooklyn

  5. Don’t enter me in the contest because fortunately none of my grandchildren have been diagnosed with Type 1 and I pray daily that they won’t be. But I am still super excited that these D-accessories are available for young children to use with American Girl dolls or any dolls or stuffed animals.

    I didn’t know that you are dealing with frozen shoulder. I am unfortunately one of the DOC experts on frozen shoulder and have dealt with it 3 times. The first one was horrible and the other two were easily manageable. All of them have taken 1-2 years to recover from and time is your best friend.

    I wrote a blogpost about it in late 2013 and still feel strongly about the opinions, info, and links provided in the post. Most important is the idea that duration of diabetes is more strongly related to frozen shoulder than “control.”


  6. Thanks for sharing. I have heard a lot about the American Girl doll that is like “us.” I have never been in an American Girl store because I have 2 young sons (not much interested in dolls!). It took me three years to get pregnant with my first son and we were pleasantly surprised when 14 months later I had another healthy boy. He was not supposed to be here because my doctor had told me I would be lucky to get through one pregnancy. To my surprise, my doctor told me this after I was already pregnant! So my second boy really is my miracle. I love my 2 boys to pieces and am so lucky. I am a girly girl though and can’t help but think that the twin of my first who didn’t make it past 4 months was a girl. I love girl things and always do girly things with my nieces. I don’t know that I would ever be able to go into an American Girl store without bawling. (You were able to keep it together in the store!) That is why I would love to receive one of your kits. And I love to pay things forward!!

  7. My daughter is 7 and loves the AG (and look alike) dolls. Her birthday is coming up February 1 and we would LOVE to give my daughter this! She is always role playing medical situations with her dolls- it helps her cope. To have one with supplies just like her would’ve awesome!

  8. Oh I teared up with the new T1D kit for the dolls. Twice I have taken my then bright eyed daughter to an American doll shop/museum/café and seeing how happy she was made it a great day for me too.

    Kathryn was diagnosed at 11 and having that accessory would have been fantastic for her! I gave always strive to have her being T1D our new normal, picking up stray test strips as normal as picking up elastics from braces.

    Now at 16 and a sophomore in high school ma daughter squeeled the news to me that they have a American Girl Doll diabetes accessory pump and all!

    I know the care kits will find the families they belong in and I hope ours is one of them.

  9. It’s great to know that they are still good people in this world I I was overwhelmed with joy when I saw what you were doing with the diabetic kit I just bought my 7 year old granddaughter Audrey a real American Girl doll for Christmas she started out with the off brand with the intent of taking care of it and work her way up to the real thing she was diagnosed at 22 months with juvenile diabetes she had been a very healthy baby no problems and all the sudden she became lethargic and having breathing problems my son and daughter in law took her to the hospital she was already in DKA and had to be rushed to Children’s Hospital Doctors were amazed that she was not in a diabetic coma they suspect that her diabetes had become active for about 6 months before we knew… shortly after she was diagnosed with celiacs disease but with all this she never complains she’s a very active little girl does ballet and is going in March to Disney World to perform as a group and as I do that was a little boy I couldn’t be any prouder she’s my hero I too have type 1 diabetes and she has shown me to be much stronger than I could ever be I am so proud of my son and daughter-in-law because of the way they take care of her…. I cannot wait for her to see that the American Girl doll corporation has made diabetic care kits I can only imagine the smile on her face when she sees her little dog will be wearing a pump just like her thank you for what you have done it has warmed my heart knowing there are people in this world like you may God bless you

  10. I too grew up without American girl dolls. It has become a tradition with my niece to go to the stores or gift items from there for Christmas and birthdays. She is 10 and in love with caring for her dolls. She takes one of her 2 everywhere she goes. I am type 1 but was diagnosed at 31. Jackie my niece has been an amazing advocate for me the past 8 years. She lives with my mom who in July had a dual liver kidney transplant. Because of the transplants my mom is now
    Insulin dependent. From learning to help me jackie has been able to assist in my mothers care as well. She is an amazing little girl. I use a pump and my mom soon will too. My husband had 4 vertebrae in his neck fused he has been out of work since Halloween and will be until March. I was unable to carry on our American girl tradition this year. While she isn’t a child with type 1 she is an amazing advocate and junior care giver who would be very proud to help educate others about the disease. Thank you for the chance 🙂

  11. Hi I have been on my Animas pump for 15 years. I am now 34. I also wear a sensor for about 4 years and love it. I would live to have this doll. It would be very nice just for keepsake

  12. My 8 year old type 1 loves her American girl doll and would be so excited to have this. She was diagnosed when she was 5 and the only thing she wanted on the way home from the hospital was an American girl doll. So hard to say no to that. 🙂

    • My daughter is 8 and she also likes to have her dolls have medical conditions. She makes IV bags and all kinds of things. Her friends think it’s weird at times. Iam so happy to see someone else does this. I read her your comment to let her know she’s not the only one. Maybe they’ll grow up to be doctors.

  13. Hi. I have three daughters that were over the moon to hear that American Girl started making these kits! My oldest (11) T1 has a birthday next month and the AG diabetic care kit has bumped every other item right off her wish list. I knew she’d be excited about the little kit, but I had no idea how much it would mean to her until I showed her the photo and her tears started. I guess having her doll match her appearance, her love of lacrosse & soccer, and occasionally her outfit is a lot of fun, but having the doll match her diabetes/challenges/strength seems to mean SO much more.
    My youngest (4) T1 daughter got a Bitty Baby (American Girl’s ridiculously priced baby doll) from my mom when she was 3, right after she got her pump. My mom had included a handsewn pouch holding a little calculator (pump) and cord (tubing) going to round bandaids (sites). It required some imagination, but most of her play still centers around entering carb counts on the calculator and changing pump sites on the dolly. It’s surprising how much that little doll set helped normalize her care.
    I really think the American Girl set will help many ages of T1 kiddos, both emotionally and with role play. Kudos to them for listening to customers’ voices and making it happen… And to you for spreading joy!

  14. What a beautiful story, I would love to win this doll. As a type 2 diabetic for the past 15 years, I know the struggle of the painful finger pricks, testing the highs and lows, trying all different medicines. This would be a great doll to help my little girl understand what mommy goes through on a daily basis. I’m not only diabetic but I’m disabled due to a failed back surgery and a cancer survivor as well. With all the medications I take ( 265 pills a week) yes weekly!!! I could never afford an American girl doll. I would cherish this gift . Thank you for considering g me and God bless you and your family, Joann

  15. not commenting for a kit cuz as a very old T1D (dxed1974) who also played with Barbies, and actual CLOTH baby dolls with plastic hands and heads, I neither need or want a toy reminder, but I did want to say what a nice thing you are doing. Me, I would have spent the wad on Lulu, or more likely, more physical therapy, but that is just me with incredibly limited PT….and I know I am going to NEED it now….sigh. stupid bike. I shoulda held on tighter, I guess 😉 Love ya girlie

  16. When I told my daughter (she’s 8, dx’d at 12 months) about the AG diabetes kit, she exclaimed, “I’ve got to get one!” She often is sad about being the only one in the family with t1, so I think this would be awesome for her.

    What a great post and an even greater thing to do!

  17. My daughter is 6 and her dad just got her a truly me AG doll for Christmas. She wanted one that looked just like her. She also type 1 for over 5 years. When we seen all the posts this week about the new diabetes kit she was so excited. She keeps asking me if she can get one. This would be awesome for her to have. She knows no other little girls with diabetes but does such an awesome job. She dances 4 days a week and has dressed her doll all week in dance clothes to take her to class. She wears a pump and a dexcom also. So to have a doll that she can carry with her at all times that has the same things as her would just be great.

  18. Loved reading this post! My girls LOVE their dolls. They just got two new ones for Christmas! My oldest, she’s 7, was diagnosed with T1D in March of 2014, she started her journey with the pump in June 2015. Some days are better than others, some days she is proud to be the only one in her grade 2 class with diabetes and likes the fact that it makes her unique…her teachers think she is so brave because she is so independent with her care, then some days she is crying and praying that her diabetes will go away so she doesn’t have to feel like garbage after a high blood sugar. I know she would LOVE to have one of those kits for her doll. So nice of you to give some away!

  19. My daughter Elly is 5 going on 6 and was diagnosed at 20 months. I love that American Girl is now offering this accessory . It’s so nice for my daughter to be included. Thank you for what you are doing as well. It’s so sweet. Hope you have a wonderful New Year and God Bless 🙂

  20. My daughter is 9yrs old and although she does not have Type 1 her 7yr old brother does . She often mentions that she doesn’t feel like she is part of his care. I think that if her American Girl doll had the new accessory kit she would be able to show her brother that she understands some of what he goes through on a daily basis.

  21. I always wanted an American girl doll but never got one. I read the books instead, they were more affordable.

    I have been t1d for 21 years in January. My daughter, 5 now, was diagnosed 5/5/15. She started her pump in October. We are pump buddies.

    She has a bitty baby and an American girl doll. We signed the petition to make this a reality. I didn’t cry, but was so excited when I saw it was official! Thank you for sharing your story and fixing others the opportunity to win one if these amazing kits!

  22. I’m not in any way interested in your contest, but I love your generous spirit. And I think it’s really cool that you’re boxing. Wishing you the best with the frozen shoulder (and the insurance). I know it will take time, but you can do it.

  23. Here’s why I need to win an American girl diabetes kit. If I actually purchased one I think my sister would have my head lol. I have a newly diagnosed son he is 5 years old & was diagnosed 12/4/15. When I saw this that American Girl was putting this kit out I thought well I know it’s “girls” colors maybe I’ll get it for my little guy & he can use the kit with his bear. I think he would really dig being able to use the kit with his bear. When I asked my sister if it would be weird if I got it for him she said YES! I still don’t think it’s weird but maybe I’m weird

    • Mary, if you don’t win a set, you absolutely HAVE TO buy one for your son anyway!! You are not weird – what a wonderful toy to help your little boy see that Diabetes doesn’t make him weird, either. What kid, girl or boy, wouldn’t love to have their bear or doll practice taking the same medication and understand carbs? It’s a fantastic idea! Who cares what color it is?!

      • Thank you Renee I’m sure I will still buy it. I just figured if I won my sister & husband couldn’t say a thing about it lol. But I think my son would enjoy having it. He pretends to do it to the dog (with his finger) when he’s getting his stuff done. I think having something to use that mocks his stuff will be great for him & perhaps help give him a better understanding. It’s hard to explain diabetes to a 5 year old

  24. Hi!

    Thank you for your generosity and kind heart. (And thanks to your mom, too!)
    Why would I like to win? Because I have two granddaughters (sisters) who are immersed in the T1D world. Praise God neither of them, nor our grandson, have been diagnosed! However, T1D is on both the maternal and paternal sides for them.
    Maternal: their mommy (our daughter-in-law), Papa (Mommy’s father), Great-aunt (Papa’s sister) all live with Type 1.
    Paternal: Aunt E (Daddy’s sister and my own daughter, dx’d in 1995 at 6), Pop (Daddy’s grandpa/my father-in-law), and several cousins also live with T1D.
    Our oldest granddaughter “CG” (5 1/2) just received her very first American Girl doll, Mary Ellen, this Christmas! CG is quite the little nurse (both Mommy and Aunt E are RNs which CG has declared to be her future career) and is already adept at lancing fingers for bg checks and dispensing glucose tabs–her favorite nursing duty! haha As much as she loves “nursing” her loved ones, she might squeal in delight at the opportunity to nurse Mary Ellen (AG) as well!
    Her little sister “LJ” is trailing behind her, anxious to keep up, and I’m sure will soon have her own AG. (It’ll be a couple of years!) I bet their brother (the middle child) may even step in to help with Mary Ellen (and future AG’s) blood sugar control from time-to-time! LOL After all, we all know Type 1 Diabetes is a family disease, as it affects all loved ones in one way or another. Right? I can hear it now: “Are you low, Mary Ellen? Here, eat this.”
    I think it is wonderful that American Girl has recognized the little ones living with Type 1 and represented them with this kit. Kudos to the little girl who started the petition! I know Aunt E (my daughter) would have LOVED to have had this when she was diagnosed twenty years ago at age six!!! In fact, she’d probably like one now. 😉

    Thanks again for being a “cheerful giver”!

    C. Turner

  25. I would love to win one for my daughter. She has had Type 1 Diabetes for three years and loves her American Girl doll. Thank you!

  26. My daughters have wanted American Girl dolls since they were big enough to know what they are. This year, Santa granted their wish. My girls also have a little brother who has had T1 for 2 years. He was only 24 months when he was diagnosed & his older sisters have always been big helpers. Now, he’s 4 years old & his sisters check his blood sugar, notify me when he’s pale or shaky, get him snacks for when he’s low, etc. When they heard that AG had a diabetes kit, I heard a resounding: “I want one!” How many kids WANT their doll to have this disease? Only the ones who have it or live alongside people who battle it. ❤️

  27. I would like to win for my 7 year old daughter. She gas been sick with multiple health issues since birth. She was then diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 4 yes old. As if the diagnosis wasn’t hard enough for her, she was kicked out if her preschool bc they said they didn’t feel comfortable with diabetes. She Is The Only Diabetic In her school and constantly feels different, she wants to be a “normak” kid. This breaks my heart every time I hear this. I think it would be great if her doll could be like her.

      • Are they all gone? In Sweden we dont have this kit, but I know it would be a wonderful gift to the hospital my son with diabetes type 1 have. I would be so glad if I could get One ❤️

What do you think?