Olivia is a typical 6-year-old living in Seal Beach. She goes to school, visits the park and plays with toys.
But there is something different about Olivia—she is the inspiration for an extraordinary doll.
And her parents, Mayra and Roberto Contreras, hope their “perfect surprise” Olivia, and her doll can help all families learn about diversity, acceptance and inclusion.
Olivia, and the doll she inspired, have Down syndrome, a congenital chromosomal condition that can change how a baby’s body and brain develop.
About one in every 700 babies born in the United States each year has Down syndrome, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Olivia’s parents, who are both physicians, had the doll made based on a picture of Olivia when she was 2 years old.
“We wanted to create a doll that she could relate to,” Mayra said in a recent interview. By 2016, the “Olivia Rose” doll was for sale online and the Contreras’s had started Electric Rose Toys, which also sells plush dolls with leg braces and a plush wheelchair.
Mayra is hoping people who purchase the “Olivia Rose” doll will also connect with Olivia through the internet.
“This doll is based on a real little girl and they can go to the website or Instagram to see how she is doing,” Mayra said.
The Instagram account, @allaboutoliviarose, and website, www.allaboutoliviarose.com, show Olivia reading, playing with her younger brother and at the playground.
“I want to show that side of Down syndrome … that she’s doing everything that a normal six-year-old girl does.”
For the first time, the “Olivia Rose” doll will be sold at a retail store, knock knock Toys & Gifts on Main Street in Seal Beach. October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
This Saturday, Oct. 6, Mayra will be at knock knock from 1-3 p.m. to talk about the doll and Down syndrome.
For every doll sold, 15 percent of the profit will go to the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County.