Davis & DeRosa Physical Therapist Tami Chang Gets Her Own Doll
Happy birthday to my sister, Tami Chang, a physical therapist at Davis & DeRosa Physical Therapy in El Segundo, CA, who has worked tirelessly as an essential worker since the start of the pandemic.
Throughout her childhood, Tami was the family caretaker so choosing physical therapy, as a career choice was a natural transition. She is an alumna from two of the most prestigious physical therapy schools, New York University and Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, from where she received her Bachelor of Physical Therapy with Honors. Tami has extensive experience in Sports and Orthopedic Rehabilitation and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association.
When Peggy A. Gavelda, a Sr. Project Engineer at Hasbro Pacific, injured her knee last December, she started a twice-a-week treatment regimen with Tami in January.
Gavelda shared, “January 20th was my first appointment and Tami was assigned to my care. I am very active and was very concerned about getting full movement back for my knee. As a marathon runner, movement is obviously important.
Tami was very professional and smart. She explained so much of how the human body heals, the structure of the knee, how we have to consider the inner tendon restructure, not just the bending. I considered her my LA doctor because of her extreme knowledge. As I knew my therapy was coming to an end, I wanted to give Tami a special gift. I knew she was a Disney fan and since I work for Hasbro toys on the Disney Princess fashion dolls, I thought I would buy her one. But I couldn’t remember which was her favorite princess. Then I thought I’d give her one that looked like her – and that’s when the “Aha!” moment came. I would make Tami her own custom doll instead. I’ve worked in the toy industry for many years and have been with Hasbro in their Burbank office for six years. I am a Sr. Softgoods Engineer. My responsibility is to work with designers, sample makers, and our Hong Kong office to create the fashions for our Princess dolls and other Hasbro brands. I learned to sew at a young age in Ohio and loved it, so I moved to LA to attend FIDM where I earned a design & manufacturing degree. I ended up working on toy fashion dolls instead of adult clothes – so much more fun. I’ve made many “mini-me” dolls for special occasions – graduations, weddings, retirements, and milestone birthdays. Making a Tami doll seemed just the perfect gift. So for the last couple weeks meeting with Tami I made note of the tiny details: watch, necklace, glasses, shoes, sweaters, etc. Then I had to include some of her therapy instruments: towel, therapy bands, jar of scar gel, and metal blade.
It is a lot of work but so much fun putting it all together! And the most pleasure came from seeing Tami’s face and excitement when I gave it to her – she loved it so much that she started to cry. After all the hard work she did for my recovery, and me I had to find a way repay her in a very special way. And I think I did!” Happy birthday to Tami and Peggy.
Tami Chang and Lia Chang
Tami Chang and Lia Chang in New York on July 4, 2019. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.