Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Penelope's Clubfoot Journey / Shishka Bob Design Review

I'm am so excited to write a short update on Penelope's Clubfoot journey that isn't filled with dread and relapse and casting, and tears! (My last one is here, and includes links to the previous posts detailing her progress.)

Where we last left off, Penny was experiencing her second relapse and 3 millionth set of casts (or so it felt). It took her about a month after those 2 weeks of full leg plaster casts to fully regain her strength and confidence in her legs again.

But otherwise, she was doing great! She was wearing her brace all through the night without complaint, which was the stuff of our dreams before then. Her following checkup should have been around July or August, but for several reasons, the date slipped. First, we got really busy - my husband left for a while for career training stuff, for example.

When we finally got around to making the appointment, they were so booked! They finally got us in this week (early November for future readers). Good timing as Penny had recently started complaining about her boots again, often in the middle of the night.

I was so nervous. I honestly thought her feet looked fine, but I didn't expect casts last time, so I was afraid to put my guard down.

We only waited about 30 minutes to see the doctor, which was crazy because that waiting room usually seats us for about 3+ hours every visit.

Unlike last time, Penelope was perky and personable and did everything the doctor asked like stretched her feet without assistance in whatever direction he asked and got down and walked back and forth so he could watch how her feet lay.

They agreed her boots were a bit snug and it was time to go a size up, answering why she was beginning to reject them through the night.

As expected, he pointed out her right food as slightly imperfect (which I always can notice), but still well within the realm of what he considers corrected.

My only surprise of the appointment was that he expressed only wearing the brace until the age of 4, when we have always been told 5. Granted he's only our second specialist, but it seems to be common practice among the forums I follow as well.

He basically said it didn't create that much better success to extend beyond 4, and that I was was awfully “ambitious” to expect a child that age to still cooperate. So... we'll see?

All in all, it was a good visit, and I'm feeling more confident that we'll all get through this successfully.

Ok, so now onto some hella cool stuff!!

Sometime last year, I came across Shishka Bob Design – an amazing Etsy shop that makes leg braces for baby dolls.

For some, this may seem silly. For parents that have children that deal with such aids, these are absolutely magical. Representation can be a huge confidence boost for kids that may be feeling different than their peers. Just as any parent may choose dolls that share the same eye,hair color or ethnicity as their children, Shishka Bob Designs takes it to another level in celebrating and humanizing wonderful differences.

Bob was inspired to craft doll braces after watching a viral video of a young girl receiving a doll with a prosthetic leg to match her own. He made a set for a friend with children in orthotic braces.

Once word of mouth spread, he received many requests, thus starting him on this venture. In his early days he was using a homemade vacuum machine and heating the plastic in his oven at home.

That's dedication!

Today, thanks to hard work, many reworks on the design, and a more than met Kickstarter campaign he has helped bring smiles to over 400 children!

Shishka Bob Designs makes SMO (ankle length), AFO (full calf length) and KAFO (above the knee length) braces that fit standard American girl or similar (18in dolls), AG Wellie Wishers or similar (14in dolls) and AG Bitty Babies or similar size.

Prices vary from $22.50 for SMO/AFO for a SINGLE leg brace, $32.50 for KAFO single leg, $44.95 for SMO/AFO double leg and $64.95 for a KAFO double leg. I think these prices are more than fair considering how much time and love goes into each pair.

I was so grateful to receive a pair for Penelope. On top of all the awesome already mentioned -- Shiska Bob Designs lets you choose from solid colors or custom patterns.

Just by providing a picture of Penny's AFOs, we received a perfectly matching set for her baby!

While Penny no longer has to wear her AFOs, she still remembers them well and knows it's all part of her Clubfoot Journey. We keep them on display so she recognized the pattern immediately and even asked to wear them again for a awhile to play with her doll.

Our pair came in the mail in under 3 weeks, but it is important to keep in mind that Bob does this on the side and has a full time job that keeps him busy as well. Please allow up to 6 weeks before item may be ready to ship.

After November 15, Shishka Bob Designs Etsy shop will be closed through Christmas, so if you'd like to order one for Christmas, do so today!  If you love a child undergoing treatment involving orthotics, this promises to be a gift they will cherish forever.


  1. Oh Jackie, I am so glad to hear this update! She is such a little doll, and bless her heart for doing just what the Dr. asked her too!! I think the braces for dolls are amazing. What a smart lady to think to make them! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  2. OMG! I wish you the best!

    Thank you for sharing at Sweet Inspiration Link Party :)