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LOOK: Filipina-American doctor has Barbie doll made after her

LOOK: Filipina-American doctor has Barbie doll made after her

BARBIE. The Barbie doll made after Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz aims to shed awareness on healthcare workers around the world.

Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz's Instagram page

Audrey Sue Cruz is the first Filipina-American doctor to have a Barbie doll made in her likeness

Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz is the first Filipina-American doctor to have her own Barbie doll modeled after her.

An internal medicine physician who is currently stationed in Las Vegas, Dr. Cruz has been recognized by Mattel Inc. for her contribution to the healthcare industry during the COVID-19 pandemic and to the #StopAsianHate movement. The toymaker said Cruz was chosen after making a “positive impact in her community, inspiring current and future generations for years to come.”

Cruz is one of six female healthcare workers honored by Mattel’s Thank You Heroes program, which aims to shine a light on pandemic frontline health workers. Cruz’s own Barbie Doll is described as a figure who has “treated COVID-19 patients and joined forces with other Asian-American physicians to fight racial bias and discrimination during the pandemic.”

The doll is shown to have long, brown hair and is wearing blue scrubs and a white doctor’s coat. The doll also comes with a mini stethoscope and surgical face mask.

“I’m SO incredibly honored. Here’s to breaking barriers, speaking truths, and empowering the next generation,” Cruz, 31, wrote in an August 4 Instagram post, holding up the first Barbie doll made in her likeness.

“I hope to shine a light on the commitment and compassion all frontline workers exhibited over the past year and a half and every single day.  I hope to represent minorities in America and encourage cultural advocacy. I hope to represent working moms who are balancing their careers while raising a family. And I hope to show all young women that they can be ANYTHING they want to be – even a physician mom and engineering grad like this girl,” she added.

She also thanked Mattel and Barbie for this “dream come true;” for recognizing healthcare workers all over the world and for for allowing them to share their stories.

In a separate August 7 post, Cruz dedicated the milestone to “all the little girls who never felt like they fit in,” and to “anyone who was ever told that they couldn’t do anything.”

“This is for all the working moms who bust their butts every day for the families. This is for anyone who has ever had to STRUGGLE and HUSTLE to make a name for themselves. We can do anything, baby,” Cruz wrote.

Cruz also wants the doll to be a reminder to that “it doesn’t matter what your skin color is or what background you come from.”

“You matter. You can speak your mind. You can follow your dreams.You can make a difference. Cheers to diversity. And cheers to frontline workers all over the country who have fought and continue to fight this pandemic,” she wrote.

In an interview with Las Vegas Sun, Cruz said that she was recognized after releasing the #IAmNotAVirus video with other Asian-American doctors, denouncing the discrimination against Asians in the United States during the peak of Asian-related hate crimes.

“We wanted to use our voices to speak up for this population that may not necessarily be able to speak up for themselves or don’t have the platform that we do,” Cruz said.

Cruz has been at the forefront of the healthcare industry since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, working 12-hour shifts in almost full-capacity Las Vegas hospitals with only minimal personal protective equipment and no vaccines yet. Cruz had to be away from her infant son JJ during this time.

“On the weeks that I worked at the hospital, I sent my son away to live with my parents in a different state so that I could minimize his exposure. Taking care of COVID patients was hard enough, but being away from my son was the most difficult thing I ever endured,” Cruz said.

Cruz graduated from the University of Nevada Reno with a degree in electrical engineering. She also obtained her medical degree at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, completing her Internal Medicine residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center in southern California.

The board-certified physician, whose parents are both from Cavite City, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her family moved to Las Vegas when she was five years old.

Aside from Cruz, another woman from the US also has a Barbie doll modeled after her – registered nurse Amy O’Sullivan, who contracted the virus after treating the first COVID-19 patient of Brooklyn’s Wyckoff Heights Medical Center.

The four other women recognized by Mattel include Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa from Canada, Professor Sarah Gilbert of the United Kingdom, Dr. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus of Brazil, and Dr. Kriby White of Australia.

Mattel, in partnership with Target, has agreed to donate $5 for each Barbie doctor, nurse, and paramedic doll sold at Target to the First Responders Children’s Foundation. The foundation provides college scholarships and grants to the children of first responders. The charity also pays for the hotel accommodations of first responders who need to self-isolate. – Steph Arnaldo/Rappler.com

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