Children With Cancer Meet Ella, Friend of Barbie

October 01, 2014

Bald Barbie Doll Helps Children With Cancer Better Understand Hair Loss

October is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Young cancer patients at University Hospital will have a special guest at a party to celebrate Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Ella, a close friend of the iconic Barbie, is a doll created by CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and Mattel. This “bald Barbie” helps kids battling cancer better understand the hair loss that is common among cancer patients.

"Losing hair at any age can be difficult, especially for children, so having a doll that looks like them can certainly help as they journey through treatment and survivorship,” said Dr. Chatchawin Assanasen, medical director of the Pediatric Blood and Cancer Center at University Hospital.

The Ella Party is also designed to help children engage in meaningful play, and to encourage them to talk to their medical team about their cancer diagnosis, treatment and side effects.

On average, 42 children a day are diagnosed with cancer, from all walks of life. The average age of diagnosis is 6 years. Mattel and CureSearch are providing children with cancer an opportunity to “just be a kid” in the face of their diagnosis with Ella, friend of Barbie.

The Ella Barbie doll will be distributed free of charge by Mattel to children with cancer at University Hospital.


Pediatric cancer patients and their medical team
Ella, friend of Barbie


Ella Party for pediatric cancer patients


Friday, Oct. 17, 2014


University Hospital Sky Tower
4502 Medical Drive