8-year-old with hearing loss finds inspiration in doll with hearing aid
A local 8-year-old girl who lives her life with a disability is finding inspiration through an American Girl Doll.
Wyllow MacLaren has read the new American Girl Doll magazine front to back a few times.
"She's slept with the magazine since it came New Year's Eve, she looks through it on a daily basis. It's kind of tattered now," said Wyllow's mother, Shannon Allmon.
Wyllow says she loves the magazine but wants to get the doll itself.
"1,000 percent I really want her," Wyllow told Channel 3.
At first glance, the doll named 'Joss' looks like any other. However, a little accessory is making a big difference.
Both the doll and Wyllow have hearing aids.
"I am really excited because she's like me," said Wyllow.
Wyllow was born with hearing loss and was non-verbal until the age of 3. Her mother says it is comforting to know that American Girl Doll is turning the page on what is considered normal.
"They don't have to be scared to show their hearing aids-- it's out there now," said Allmon.
The 8-year-old attends a camp every February with other children who have hearing loss. Not only does Wyllow want a doll of her own, but she also wants the 31 other kids at camp to have one too.
She says she is going to do this by selling chocolate-covered strawberries.
"She knows that she wants the doll but she knows that other children might not be able to afford the doll, so she wanted to do that," Allmon told Channel 3.
She has sold these treats before with her business called 'The Giving Berries.' Now, the proceeds are going back to a cause that started with a doll who shares the same story.
"It is kind of heartwarming that finally there is a story that all kids can understand," Allmon told Channel 3.
If you'd like to buy some of Wyllow's chocolate-covered strawberries, visit www.facebook.com/TheGivingBerries/.
American Girl provided Channel 3 a statement saying, " We’re so proud of Wyllow and all the young girls like her who are excited to celebrate and share Joss’s positive message with others. Just like our 2020 Girl of the Year, Wyllow is a great example of how we can all make the world a brighter place by broadening understanding and respect for people’s differences."