Girl with muscular dystrophy petitions Mattel to release disable -

Girl with muscular dystrophy petitions Mattel to release disabled American Girl doll

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By Stephanie Baumer By Stephanie Baumer

(CBS News) -- An online petition calling on American Girl to release a doll with a disability has been gaining traction and signatures with the help of an on-camera plea by the 10-year-old leading the charge.

Melissa Shang, from Paoli, Pa., has a form of muscular dystrophy called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. It has kept her from running or ice skating with her peers. She loves American Girl dolls, the petition notes, in part because they help her “understand how it feels to be someone else.”

In their petition, Melissa and her sister YingYing are asking Mattel, which owns American Girl, to release a new doll that helps other girls understand what it’s like to face what Melissa faces.

“For once, I don’t want to be invisible or a side character that the main American Girl has to help,” Melissa writes on her petition page. “I want other girls to know what it’s like to be me, through a disabled American Girl’s story.”

Watch her petition below. 

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