Limb Lab gives client customized Barbie Doll ahead of National Nurses Week

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 7:17 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Rochester’s Limb Lab is celebrating National Nurses Week a couple of weeks early with a special surprise for one of its clients.

She is a nurse at Mayo Clinic and also a big advocate for limb loss and limb difference.

Limb Lab surprised her with a Barbie Doll that has a prosthetic leg designed to look just like hers.

Barbie Doll with customized prosthetic leg
Barbie Doll with customized prosthetic leg(KTTC)

Meghan Erickson was born with a birth defect that cut off the circulation to her leg and it was later amputated when she was 6 months old.

“This is probably the coolest gift I have ever gotten in my life,” Erickson said.

She has been a client of Limb Lab for about four years and is a big advocate for limb loss awareness, often reaching out to talk with new amputees in the area.

“Part of my identity over the years has been embracing my disability and using it for good,” Erickson said.

“So if I can showcase my personality in something fun, I mean I’m stuck with my leg for the rest of my life, I might as well make it cool, make it a conversation piece, something that represents me.”

Meghan Erickson opening her gift
Meghan Erickson opening her gift(KTTC)

You may remember that in recent years, that Barbie has been coming out with more inclusive dolls, depicting prosthetics and other disabilities, and Limb Lab thought it would be cool to make one unique just for Erickson.

“We took what was a gray prosthetic on there and hand-painted the whole thing to look just like hers, and then the scrubs were like a teal/turquoise so we dyed those to match her Mayo ones,” Limb Lab Board Eligible Certified Prosthetist Orthotist Kate Steele said. “Then even the hair, we changed that.”

“I’m 26 years old and I’m speechless about a Barbie that looks like me,” Erickson said. “So I can only imagine how cool this would have been as a young girl, growing up, seeing a toy in the store that looks exactly like you.”

Limb Lab says it often goes above and beyond for clients and said the gift was a way to say thank you to Erickson for all her help in being an advocate.

Meghan Erickson and her new Barbie with prosthetic leg
Meghan Erickson and her new Barbie with prosthetic leg(KTTC)

“To see that expression when she walking in that room today like ‘Oh my gosh you guys,” Steele said. “And she just means a lot to everyone here at Limb Lab, just like all the other clients. So, it was really special.”

Limb Lab thought this was the perfect time to give this gift to Erickson since April is Limb Loss Awareness and Limb Difference Month.

National Nurses Week is May 6th through the 12th.

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