My interview with Amy Ermel about Diabetic Barbie

Amy is the mother of Emma a young girl with diabetes.  Emma heard about a bald Barbie that supported children with cancer.  She wanted to know why there wasn’t a Barbie for girls with diabetes, a diabetic Barbie.  Amy decided to write Mattel and suggest the idea.  Unfortunately Mattel replied that they do not take unsolicited suggestions about their dolls.  I thought it would help to interview Amy and maybe help her with her cause.

Patrick:  You have tried to get Mattel to make a diabetic version of Barbie, they replied that they do not take suggestions from outside sources.  Has there been any further communication?

Amy: We have yet to hear back from Mattel at this point, but we are very optimistic now because just a few days ago the people behind the Bald and Beautiful barbie campaign received news that mattel will in fact be making the bald barbie available to children dealing with cancer and alopecia, etc in hospitals! I think that is a fantastic first step and I am hoping that they will follow suit with diabetic barbie as well!

Patrick:  On your facebook page you garner a lot of support how have they helped?

Amy:  The support we have received on the facebook page has been phenomenal! Emma and I are so excited to see that so many people are coming together to support this idea and we hope to continue the momentum and make people realize that people affected by diabetes have a voice too and that we matter too!

Patrick:  You have made your daughter her own version of diabetic Barbie, have you thought of marketing a diabetic doll for girls?

Amy:   I have thought actually about making a diabetic doll of our own available to kids, but I think that Mattel has such a bigger voice than us and if we were able to attempt to make this happen with them first...we would be able to make this available to a much broader audience and therefore spread the word about diabetes much further.

Patrick: Being the parent of a diabetic child is difficult, I know it was for my parents.  What has been the most difficult and most satisfying in your journey so far?

Amy:   I would definitely say the most difficult thing on this journey for me so far (aside from the actual shock of diagnosis) has been the lack of sleep. Diabetes never sleeps....and therefore, I rarely get a good solid sleep either...LOL. I would say the most satisfying thing about this journey so far has been the support. I have made a new family in the Diabetes Community and I treasure them so much. I also believe that the bond I have with Emma now is so amazing and so strong, that I don't know that it would have been the same had diabetes not come into our lives.

Patrick:  Have you reached out to other toy manufacturers about producing diabetic dolls?

Amy: I have not reached out to other toy manufacturers as of this point...but who knows what the future holds!

Patrick:  What advice do you have for other parents of diabetic children?

Amy:  The biggest piece of advice I would give to other diabetic parents is....to always remember to take time for yourself too. Even if it is simply 5 minutes a day. Take 5 minutes out to just be YOU....not D-Mom or D-Dad...not husband or wife....just be YOU. It helps a lot.

Patrick:  Have you tried organizing with a group of people, such as a letter writing campaign?

Amy:  We haven't yet organized a letter writing campaign...but it would definitely be something I would be up for!

Patrick:  What have you learned in this battle?  What can we do to help?

Amy: I have learned that the diabetes community is a strong passionate group of people. We stick up for each other and we are there for each other. It is fantastic to witness and it makes me proud to be a part of such a wonderful group of people. As far as what people can do to help....you could share a link to the Diabetic Barbie page on Facebook and ask people to "like" it...you could spread the word anyway you know how...blog about it, write letters, phone people...anything and everything would be much appreciated!

If this story moves you please visit and like the Diabetic Barbie Facebook page for more information.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Tags: barbie, diabetes, mattel

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