By Peg Rusconi, WBZ-TV

SALEM, N.H. (CBS) – Kaila and Kiana Roy play with American Girl dolls that look a lot like them. With their sister Kalli, it’s different.

Said Kaila, who is 10, “She always asks why doesn’t mine have hair like mine?”

Kalli has albinism: white blond hair, and extremely light-sensitive skin and eyes.

“Her vision is about 20/350. So what you see across the football field she sees at 20 feet,” said the girls’ mother Tricia.

Kalli’s big sisters noticed albinos are often portrayed as villains in movies. They thought a doll that looks like Kalli could educate others about albinism, so they called American Girl.

WBZ-TV’s Peg Rusconi reports.

Said 8-year old Kiana, “They said, ‘Why don’t you write us a letter. We’ll think about it.'”

Kaila and Kiana didn’t want theirs to be the only voices behind this, so they brought it to their school. Students learned about albinism and got the opportunity to write letters of their own.

Tricia Roy has a folder with 37 letters, and more are coming by e-mail.

If you’d like to write a letter in support of the project, e-mail:

The girls would like the doll to have a walking cane, like the one Kalli sometimes uses, and a collection of sunglasses.

Asked when she wears her sunglasses, 4-year old Kalli replied, “Outside. And inside sometimes. Because the light hurts my eyes.”

Thanks to Kalli’s sisters, their community has a better understanding of Kalli’s condition. Doll or no doll, that’s a lot to be proud of.

Comments (17)
  1. kerry puglia says:

    as a tooddlers aide i agree with children having toys that help deal with certain situtions it helps children coop better than an adult teaching because they see it is ok to see and play

  2. Amanda Smith says:

    I think that this is a great idea, i have a child with albinisim she is 16 months. it would be really cool for her to have a doll from that company that looks like her, i had two when i was a child. i hope this happens !

  3. Barbara Lynch says:

    I am so proud of you girls! Kalli you are a wonderful, beautiful little girl and I love you!

  4. lisa says:

    How beautiful you are, Kalli. I would love to have a doll that looks JUST LIKE YOU!!

  5. katelyn fleck says:

    Kali you and your sisters are doing an amazing thing stay strong you are beautiful and I hope your wish does come true k

  6. Christina says:

    What a sweet little girl – of course you deserve to have a doll that looks like you. What wonderful sisters you have too.

  7. Gina says:

    I think this is a wonderful idea! Although I have a son with albinism … I will also write a letter to American Girl on your behalf! I hope you get the doll that looks just like you … you are beautiful!

  8. Rachel says:

    give her the ag doll

  9. Rachel says:

    have dolls of my own and if everyone elts has a lookalikedoll she should to

  10. lori says:

    It is THIS kind of heartwarming story I like to read from time to time. I really hope American Girl comes out with a doll for this special girl and her sisters. What the sisters are doing for their younger sister is a wonderful testament to how the parents are raising them.

  11. Uncle Shawn says:

    We should have Ellen Cover this story – I have been watching her show for years and know that with her help this is a real possibility! My Nieces are so inspirational and I am so proud of all 3 of them! You girls ROCK!!!! I’m voting for Kalli and asking American Girl to create something amazing and to share the gift that Kalli is to me with people all over the world! I love you sweetheart….Love Uncle Shawn!

  12. KelliAnn Mead says:

    What a touching story. I too will write a letter in support of a New American Doll for Kalli and all the other little girls in America just like her! You are an incredible little girl Kallie, keep up the education and let your voice be heard! KelliAnn Mead

  13. KAREN BOUCHARD says:


  14. Pam says:

    There are a lot of kids out there for whom AG doesn’t make a doll… so go buy one elsewhere. As AG informed me, they are not in the business of making custom dolls. There is no doll with dwarfism, no doll with Down’s, and oddly, only one Asian doll, which is very strange looking, so if you’re Asian you’re pretty much out of luck trying to find one too. I’m hoping they’re not going to show favoritism to this one little girl when they’ve left so many other requests unheeded from other girls, simply because their complaints were more common and less interesting.

    1. Katherine says:

      AG should most DEFINATELY make a doll, not only for albinism, but for dwarfism, and downs, and any other commonly misunderstood disorder. I remember being a little girl, and pouring over the American Girl stories, and magazines, and playing for hours on their website. All of my friends had “just like me” dolls, but not me, because my doll, thought she was blonde, was very, very tan. Pam, I’m sorry you can’t understand what we go through, and what these wonderful girls are working for, but so many people, including yourself, it would seem, have no idea what daily life for those with albinism, or dwarfism, or downs is like, and they really don’t care, because it doesn’t affect them. And we are raising ignorant generation after ignorant generation, and we, and our children, and our grandchildren, should be educated. Ignorance is idiocy, and promoting ignorance is unacceptable. American Girl has a chance to do something good here, because if one more little girl, just one, knows about albinism, and chooses not to tease her albino classmate, then it is worth it, because it is amazing how one mean and ignorant comment can ruin your day.

  15. Granny Sandy says:

    I well also write a letter to American Girl to ask them to do this!

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