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Down Syndrome Dolls in Brazil After Child Actor's Success

A Down Syndrome child actor's runaway success in a Brazilian soap opera has inspired the production of a doll with features of the genetic disorder.//

The doll will be based on "Paginas da Vida" (Pages of Life) character Clarinha, played by young actor Joana Mocarzel.

In the soap, the five-year-old Clarinha was abandoned by her genetic family because of the syndrome. Mocarzel's charisma combined with Brazilians' craze for soaps to make it a major TV success story.

The toy will be developed by a branch of Globo TV, which broadcasts the program. According to the company, revenues from the sales of the product will be donated to an NGO that provides aid to families dealing with Down Syndrome in a hospital in Sao Paulo.

Mocarzel is the daughter of journalist and filmmaker Evaldo Mocarzel, who produced and directed documentary "Do Luto a Luta" (From Mourning to Fighting), released in Brazil last year. The film's main plot centres on the disorder.

Mocarzel said he had not allowed his daughter to participate in other types of commercial advertising since she began starring in the soap.

"I only gave permission for the doll and for her to participate in the parade of samba school Imperio Serrano," said the cautious dad, adding that the parade, which will be part of Rio de Janeiro's internationally famous carnival, will also have Down Syndrome as the theme.

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