inclusion

Clare Tawell makes dolls with cleft lips, hearing aids, feeding tubes and more.

Dolls are one of the most common toys kids play with around the world, but there are some kids who have never seen a doll that looks like them. Kids who have physical disabilities, birth defects or other unique features can't go to the store and see what makes them special in a doll on the shelf.

Thanks to a mom in the United Kingdom, they can now have one made, though.

Clare Tawell first made a doll for her youngest daughter Matilda (Tilly) in 2017. Tilly was born deaf and has been wearing hearing aids since she was 6 weeks old. Tawell wanted to find her a doll that had hearing aids like her, but had no luck.

"There was nothing out there that represented my little girl," Tawell writes on her website. "It was like she didn't matter, she didn't conform to what society considers 'normal' so why bother acknowledging her."

She channeled her frustration into creativity and made a doll with hearing aids that looked just like Tilly's. She was thrilled. Soon other families wanted similar dolls, and BrightEars was born.

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