PHOENIX – Stationed at her sewing machine, 11-year-old Charlotte is changing lives.
Charlotte Gould was born with a cleft lip and palate, a birth defect that leaves a split in the roof of a baby’s mouth. She was only a few months old when she underwent her first of many surgeries to fix her smile.
“I always wished I had something to hold on to,” said Charlotte, who has a small scar under her nose leftover from the surgeries.
Charlotte received a sewing machine for her seventh birthday, and soon after started sewing together dolls.
“She wanted hers to look like her, so she included a scar on the doll’s lip,” said Nicole Gould, Charlotte’s mom, and it’s the small scar left behind that inspired Stitches by Charlotte.
“I sew comfort dolls for children going through surgeries or medical procedures,” said Charlotte.
Whether a matching scar or eyepatch, every doll Charlotte makes is specially tailored to every child. Each doll comes with a child safe sewing kit so every child who has their own doll can add their own journey to make it more like them.
“I think people loved the idea that these dolls are perfect. Perfectly imperfect,” said Nicole.
“One of my favorite dolls was a baseball doll that I made for a baseball player who is in PCH (Phoenix Children’s Hospital) going through her third round of chemo,” said Charlotte.
Charlotte and her family will even deliver the dolls themselves to children at the hospital.
“I love to see the kid’s or the young children’s faces when I deliver them.,” said Charlotte.
“It always takes my breath away to see Charlotte’s poise and her pride and her confidence and then also her giving heart when she is placing a doll in the hand of a child’s,” said Nicole.