American Girl Dolls Give Children Battling Illness Peace of Mind - Good360

American Girl Dolls Give Children Battling Illness Peace of Mind

CDH Stars and Angels

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) occurs when an irregular hole develops in the diaphragm. When this hole forms during a fetus’s development in the womb, vital organs like the stomach or the liver can move into the chest cavity. The presence of these organs in the chest limits space for the lungs and can result in respiratory complications. Good360 nonprofit partner, CDH Stars and Angels, supports families experiencing CDH while working collaboratively to raise awareness and advocate for patient-centered research and solutions. 

Because CDH is a severe medical condition, most diagnosed children undergo numerous surgeries and endure extended stays at the hospital. CDH Stars and Angels supplies patients with toys and activities to ease their anxiety during hospital visits to help take their minds off their current situation. Dolls provided by American Girl helped the organization do just that. 

“Children battling Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia are often overlooked, but they have long days at children’s hospitals and multiple surgeries and medical testing,” said Brenda Mertes, President of CDH Stars and Angels. “Having a doll to bring along made these patients feel less alone and gave them a distraction from otherwise stressful days.” 

CDH survivor, Phoenix, brought his American Girl doll along with him for a day full of medical testing. His “Tenney” doll sat right by his side the entire day and distracted him from the chaos of needles and machines. His mother beamed with pride as he sat through all the examinations with newfound courage from his doll. 

Thanks to this contribution of American Girl dolls, young patients have a friend to comfort them while they undergo treatment and continue to overcome CDH. 

Shari Rudolph

Shari Rudolph is Chief Development Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at Good360. She is an accomplished retail, digital commerce hand media executive with a strong track record of building audiences, revenue, and brands. Shari’s previous experience includes management consulting as well as various executive and leadership roles at both start-ups and large media and retail e-commerce companies in Southern California, New York, and Silicon Valley. She is also an adjunct professor teaching marketing, advertising, and entrepreneurial studies classes. She earned her MBA from The Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.