Legacy Products Founders

The true story of two sisters, who grew up playing dolls.

When a family crisis brings them back together as adults, they create a unique doll to help sick children and their families make sense of medical procedures and illnesses.

The MediKin Story - a legacy of dolls

As sisters, Katherine and Alice loved playing dolls. They each grew up, married, became mothers and ultimately grandmothers. But their love of dolls was never forgotten. Together they started a small company that designed and sold cloth dolls along with decorative flags and fabric murals. 

In 1990 the sisters were faced with some news that many families experience, but everyone hopes will never happen to them. Stuart, Katherine's 18-month old grandson, had cancer—specifically stage 4 neuroblastoma.

The family suffered fear and uncertainty as they tried to understand and accept the invasive treatments and special care that Stuart would need.  

  • How do you explain to a toddler what is going on and why they must
    spend time in a strange place instead of being at home?
  • How can a child and the family go through the experience without fear?
  • Could the whole process be made easier?
  • Is there a gentler, more comforting and effective way to explain things?

The sisters began asking themselves and others these questions. In mid-1990 they attended the annual meeting of a large association of child life professionals and pediatric nurses and discovered they weren't the only ones asking these types of questions. There was a vital need for a doll that could be used to teach sick children and their families about their illnesses and treatments. So the two sisters decided it was time to play dolls again. They developed a special doll called a MediKin that could be used for medical role play.

At the time Stuart was diagnosed, the odds were not in his favor. But Stuart not only beat those odds, he literally thrived. He played football in high school and rugby in college. He has grown up to be a healthy young man who is working in the medical field.

And today, Legacy's MediKin™ teaching aides continue to revolutionize pediatric education. Doctors, nurses, child life specialists and health educators are using them in hospitals, clinics, classrooms and healthcare camps in 49 states and 11 countries. They are realistic and adaptable, help eliminate emotional and language barriers and serve as role models and friends—experiencing the exact same medical diagnosis as the child.

Each MediKin is developed in partnership with health care professionals and created one-at-a-time in the U.S.A.