How a doll with a prosthetic leg is helping one young girl.

At first glance, you might not notice anything different about 10-year-old Emma Fletcher.

She glows with energy and innocence. But if you look beyond her curly blond hair and shimmering smile, you'll see that she wears a prosthetic on her right leg — the result of a rare birth defect that she has lived with her entire life.

Emma is a happy and athletic 10-year-old, but the reality is that her condition isn't one that you're likely to see reflected on the dolls at your local toy store.

So you can image Emma's surprise when her little sister presented her with a brand-new American Girl doll that had ... some special features.

When Emma first opened the box, it looked like any other doll...

(And like any other kid, she was annoyed and confused with her mom's insistence that she read the note that came along with the gift. Ugh, parents.)

But when she tore the box apart, Emma realized she had more in common with her new toy than just blond hair.

As she burst into tears, she exclaimed:

Emma's parents bought her an American Doll with a customized prosthetic leg — just like hers.

The doll came from a New York-based company called A Step Ahead, which offers their customization services for free — you just provide the doll. As they explain on their website:

"We feel that it is absolutely crucial to boost the self-confidence, self-esteem, and feelings of inclusion for little girls with limb loss, and that something as small as a doll that resembles them can have a profound effect on their mental and physical well-being."

The "doctors" who performed the amputation and prepared the doll's new prosthetic leg even included a personal note for Emma to read when she opened her gift:

That "life without limitations" part is really the crux of this whole heartwarming story.

Emma is just one of nearly 2 million people in the United States living with limb loss. Prosthetics have been around for hundreds of years, and newer medical advancements are making it easier than ever for people to lead fulfilling lives, unimpeded — and sometimes, enhanced — by their amputations.

So it's not that kids like Emma can't connect with toys or celebrities or fictional characters who don't have prosthetics. They can, and they do.

But they also shouldn't have to feel alone.

When people who might feel alienated finally get to see themselves represented in the world, it means the world.

Small gestures like this doll help kids like Emma feel like they're not alone. It lets them know that their experiences and struggles are real, and that they matter.

Check out the full emotional video of Emma opening her new gift below:

Just ... maybe grab like 10 box of tissues before you hit play. You're gonna need it.

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Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

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via Number 10 / Flickr

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved a measure last month that could pave the way for the Catholic Church to deny President Joe Biden communion. The conservative bishops hope to prevent Biden from participating in the sacred ritual because of his support for abortion rights.

Biden is a devout Catholic who considered becoming a priest in his youth. He rarely misses mass, holds a rosary while making critical decisions, and often quotes scriptures. When asked about the bishops' decision Biden said it is "a private matter and I don't think that's going to happen."

The bishops hope the new guidance would push "Catholics who are cultural, political, or parochial leaders to witness the faith."

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