I believe life is full of contradictions. When my sister was thirteen, she lost her hair in patches all over her head. Handfuls of hair fell out in the shower and on her pillow. Bare spots appeared overnight. This carefree, tomboy, horse-loving, easygoing, loveable sister of mine, faced her diagnosis of Alopecia before she was a teenager. She did so with courage and uncertainty. Fast forward to when our daughter, Lauren, was thirteen years old. She had a head full of curls, knots, and more hair than everyone in the family combined. She was miserable with the unruly tangles and didn’t understand why she couldn’t have hair “like everybody else.” And there it is. The contradiction.
I donate a portion of book profits to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation in respect and honor of my sister. If I can bring more awareness, education, and support to this auto-immune disease, it’s the right thing to do. I am incredibly proud of her undying strength. For the next few months I have asked her to write from her experiences and share them for you to read.
My sister is now in her forties – she’s completely bald, which is why the term Alopecia Areata. She is happily married, has two wonderful children, works full time, cries during movies, is a great mother, wonderful friend, and the best sister. This is the first time she’s publicly written about her condition. It’s uncomfortable for her to do so. She feels if her stories help at least one other person, it’s worth it.
She’s my hero.