Utah teen’s dolls help children with chronic diseases

Posted at 5:56 PM, Mar 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-14 21:46:27-04

SPRINGVILLE, Utah - A 15-year-old Utah girl designs and makes dolls to help children with health problems. It takes a lot of time and energy, especially for a teenager who struggles with chronic fatigue.

Blythe Gifford suffers from chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome, which means she often suffers from fatigue so strong, she's often unable to perform fairly easy tasks.

But when she does have energy, Blythe makes dolls for children with chronic diseases or disorders.

"She's an artist who some days can't even lift a paint brush and so to me they are that much more valuable and rare and beautiful because it's her," said Jill Gifford, Blythe's mom.

Blythe says she creates the dolls, which are designed to look like the child they're made for, to help cheer them up as they go through difficult situations.

"These kids feel even worse than I do and they are going through chemo therapy and they loose their hair. I like thinking how it could help cheer them up," Blythe said.

When she started out, Blythe wanted the dolls to look handcrafted but not homemade.

"It's allowed her to use her artistic skills and see something completed and beautiful and something that is going to bring joy to someone else. And that makes her happy," Jill said.

Within the last year, Blythe and her mom came up with the design and started an online business.