A Brazilian grandfather has made headlines across the world for knitting dolls with different body types, skin conditions and visual impairments to help build the self-esteem of children who suffer from these various conditions.

Joao Stanganelli Junior (64) began crocheting dolls for his granddaughter Isabella to remind her of him. Stanganelli has been living with vitiligo for half of his life, which is a non-contagious skin disease that causes a loss of pigmentation in those who have it.


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Santa Cruz Cabrália

A post shared by João Stanganelli Junior (@joaostanganelli) on

Stanganelli’s wife suggested he take up crochet, and less than five days later, he had made his granddaughter her first doll. Soon thereafter, pictures of his vitiligo doll spread through his circle of friends and family, and he was flooded with requests for dolls.

People were asking for dolls with hearing aids and wheelchairs, and this grandfather’s simple gift to his granddaughter rose in popularity.


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Boneca amigurumi deficiente visual

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Although Stanganelli says that having vitiligo has never bothered him personally, he knows that it may deeply affect young children and teenagers. “The spots I have are beautiful, what hurts me are the flaws in peoples’ characters,” he says.

Picture: Instagram

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.