LOS ANGELES -- A Southern California mom went the extra mile to make her daughter, who was born deaf, feel special for her fifth birthday.
Idania Vergara customized 18 Barbie dolls to wear cochlear implants as presents for her daughter and all her friends.
Her daughter, Alani Vasquez, was born deaf. At nine months old, she had surgery for cochlear implants to help her hearing.
"At first we were very scared as parents," Idania says. "You just want the best for your kid."
Idania says she's been teaching her daughter not to feel ashamed or different from anyone else. But she asks her mother why other people don't have "ears" - her nickname for the implants.
"Recently she's been at an age where she's constantly asking mom, why doesn't she have ears? She asked me and him, where are your ears?"
This past week, Alani turned 5 years old.
She loves Barbies, so of course that was the theme for her celebration.
But it was what was inside the gift bags that really got everyone's attention.
Each girl got a Barbie with cochlear implants.
They were a huge hit.
Idania bought the Barbies and added the earpiece to each one. It took her a long time - but it was worth it, she says.
"She's like, Mommy you're the best mommy ever," Idania says. "She was really really happy."