Mom Creates Special Baby Doll for Daughter with Rare Facial Birthmark: It 'Looks Just Like Her'
Charlie Crenshaw, 2, hasn't been able to put down her new doll — which has a pink patch on its cheek just like hers!
Two-year-old Charlie Crenshaw hasn’t been able to put down her new baby doll.
Little Charlie was born with a capillary hemangioma, also known as a “strawberry birthmark,” on her face, leaving the right side of her cheek a dark pink color. So, her mother, Katie, decided to get her daughter a baby doll that she could fully relate to.
“The reason we wanted to do it is to start normalizing [the birthmark] for her as early as possible now that she’s just starting to be conscious of herself,” Crenshaw tells PEOPLE. “So that she always understands that some people have differences and it’s just normal.”
Crenshaw teamed up with Kayla Baker of Little Plain Jane to make the toy. Just like Charlie, the doll has a sweet grin, bright eyes and blonde locks tied into pigtails. Crenshaw says her daughter was ecstatic when she got the toy last week.
“She immediately touched her face! Most 2-year-olds have super low attention spans for toys, but you could tell immediately that she was highly impressed,” she says. “She knew that the doll looked like her. I also chose the blonde hair and same style and she immediately put her hand on her cheek and she said, ‘She’s so cute.’ ”
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Photos of Charlie with the doll showed the toddler sporting a wide grin as she held the toy close. Crenshaw says Charlie gave her new baby doll a fitting name: “Princess Cheek.”
“I said, ‘She looks like you!’ And she said, ‘pink cheek!’ ” Crenshaw tells PEOPLE. “She named her Princess Cheek and she has not let that doll out of her sight.”
In a sweet video of Charlie and Princess Cheek, the little girl is shown sitting on a bed, hugging Princess Cheek as she explains to her mother that she loves the doll.
“She’s never been so attached to a toy ever. She has not put that doll down! It has gone everywhere with us,” Crenshaw adds.”It’s got food on it already. She sleeps with it, she does not let that doll go. She must realize that it definitely looks like her.”
Crenshaw, who lives in Napa, California, with her husband, Tyler, and their three children, has spoken out about her daughter’s condition. When Charlie was just a few months old, Crenshaw highlighted the reddish, benign tumor covering her daughter’s right cheek on her blog, Typical Katie.
She told PEOPLE last year that people would make negative comments about Charlie’s birthmark. Now, she says she’s glad the little girl is becoming aware of her special look.
“I didn’t even expect that reaction from her. I was thinking maybe [the doll is] something that would grow older with her and maybe in a couple years she would appreciate it more,” Crenshaw tells PEOPLE. “I didn’t even expect her to be as aware of how special it was because she’s two. But it’s really amazing to see how she connected it for herself immediately without me having to say anything.”
She adds: ‘She was like, ‘pink cheek!’ I just think it’s cool that she was able to recognize that and she clearly loves it.”