ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A few years back, Amy Jandrisevits in Waukesha County, Wisconsin decided to make a doll from scratch. She sewed it together, gave it a face and hair, and showed it to her friends. One of them had an interesting comment. 

“She told me that the doll I created looked exactly like her daughter except for one thing: her daughter was missing one leg,” Amy explained.

Amy Jandrisevits

The woman then asked Amy if she could make an identical doll, but this time without the leg, as a gift for her daughter. 

“She wanted her daughter to have a doll who actually looked like her,” Amy added.

So Amy got to work and made the doll. Within two months, word had spread of what she had done, and Amy was getting messages from strangers all over the world asking if she could make a special doll for their special child.

“It was wild. Suddenly, I’m getting requests for dolls from England, Egypt, Australia and Canada,” Amy said.

She got to work making the dolls, and even though each one costs about $100 to create, she never bothered people for money. As Amy put it, “Someone’s ability to pay or not pay never factored into it. I never let that stop me from making a doll for a child who needed it.”

Two years later, Amy formed a not-for-profit called A Doll Like Me, and people started donating or sponsoring dolls for children. She’s made more than 400 at this point, and there is now an extensive waiting list.

When NEWS10’s John Gray heard about Amy, he contacted her and asked if there were any children on the waiting list near the Capital Region. She mentioned a little girl named Maddy who had cerebral palsy and needed a special walker to get around. Amy got to work making Maddy a doll that looked just like her, and she sent it to John at NEWS10. He wrapped it in pretty paper and took it to Maddy’s home outside of Utica, about 100 miles away.

“I love it,” was all 8-year-old Maddy kept saying over and over again. Her mother and father were near tears because, as her father put it, “Just seeing her this happy is the most important thing in the world.”

If you’d like to learn more about Amy and her dolls, or if you need a doll for a child or want to sponsor one, you can learn more at A Doll Like Me.