Bean Station woman crafts special dolls for girls battling cancer

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. A Bean Station woman is a gas station employee by day, seamstress by night. But her clothes aren't for people--they're for dolls.

Addie and Penny (Source: WVLT)

"I like putting a smile on peoples face," said Penny Tolliver, "I think I was put on this Earth to encourage people."

Penny Tolliver makes special Barbie dolls for girls and women who are battling cancer.

She does it all by hand. She said it takes her four hours to remove the hair and sew the outfit together.

"I choose fabric to match the interests of the people that they're for," explained Tolliver.

Just two weeks ago, Penny saw a little girl on WVLT News she felt called to help, nine-year-old Addie Bennett, who is battling leukemia.

Friday night they met for the first time.

"I love her dress," said Addie Bennett," She's so cute."

Now Addie fights with a new soldier by her side.

"I put a number on all the dolls that I make, and your doll is number 246," said Tolliver.

Tolliver calls it Penny's Project Hope.

"I haven't seen any dolls with no hair before," said Bennett.

"My hope is that there will one day be a cure for cancer and my dolls won't be needed for it no more," said Tolliver.

"I'm going to name her Sparkle," exclaimed Bennett!

Tolliver buys the fabric, but the dolls are donated.

The best part, she gives them to cancer patients for free.

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