ST. LOUIS — Elsa Wiemerslage is about to start her third round of chemotherapy. By her side is a new doll that looks just like her.
The American Girl Doll is made for girls who’ve lost their hair during cancer treatments.
However, the doll did not come from friends or family; instead, it was the work of strangers.
“She’s being thought of for special things. It gives her a little bit of the childhood she’s missing,” said Elsa’s mom Adrienne.
A couple months ago, Melissa Hanstein and a co-worker at a local cancer organization started a personal gofundme.com page to raise money for the dolls.
“I had no idea in 24 hours we raised more than double our goal,” Hanstein said.
Then, American Girl heard about the effort on social media, and donated five dolls to Cardinal Glennon. The money Melissa raised will go toward more dolls in the future.
“It’s a special way to make the journey a little easier,” Hanstein said.
When Elsa goes into remission, she can take her doll to the American Girl store and select a hairstyle. She has a message for everyone who’s donated.
“Thank you,” Elsa said.
Elsa is scheduled to undergo a bone marrow transplant using her baby brother’s cord blood. Her parents are hopeful for a full recovery.