Sunday, December 23, 2012

Consider Donating to the NAAF

Today my act of kindness (#8) is very near and dear to my heart.  I committed to donating $8 per month to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.  This small donation will only be $96 a year, but it's what I can afford.  All I have to do is give up eating lunch out once a month.  $8 per month to help fund research and find appropriate treatments for this disease.

As a child, I suffered to accept myself.  I hated my bald spots.  I was so embarrassed by them.  One year at camp when I was 11 years old, I kept my hair in a ponytail for 5 weeks, because I didn't want anyone to see that I had bald spots.  I think I pulled out my rubber band once and washed it.   I hated being different.  I hated when people stared and ostracized me.  It's hard to be different when you're a kid, because kids just don't understand.  Plus, I didn't understand when I was little that by educating people they'd begin to accept me. 

Wearing a sailor's cap to cover my spots
I'll never forget in 2nd grade, when I had a lot of uncoverable spots and my Mom bought me two wigs: one long and one short.  I used to interchange them all the time, so I know most people knew they were wigs, but apparently not all the kids caught on.  We had a substitute that day, and we were working on something.  Darryl came up to me to ask me something, and his hand caught the side of my wig pulling it off.  Rebecca shouted, "Lauren's head is falling off!"  I was mortified, and the substitute had no idea what to do.  She put my hair in a paper bag and sent it home with me that day, instead of calling my parents or taking me to the Principal's office.  I can look back on this and laugh now, but as a child it traumatized me. 

Knowledge is a powerful thing, and as I grew older I learned this.  When I lost all my hair recently, I was upset.  I was embarrassed again, almost reliving my childhood.  I just want eyelashes and eyebrows and for my head not to be cold when it's 20 degrees out.  I want to fit in, like everyone else does, even if they won't admit it.  But, I began to accept myself and spread my knowledge of alopecia areata to everyone I knew.  I began telling people about the disease, including my children and their friends and my nephew (who insist that I am not a mammal because I don't have hair!). 

With a little more research hopefully they can find a definitive cause of this disease and begin working on a cure.  To be a child with alopecia areata is so hard socially, but it shaped who I am so I wouldn't change it.  I'm just happy I can give back to the NAAF, as they have inspired me to embrace myself and my hair loss and educate those around me about it.  

With my Adorable nephew this year.


  1. I am so proud of you Lauren!

  2. thank you so sharing! My daughter has alopecia areata. it is so hard as a mother to see the spots get bigger and bigger and harder to hide. God Bless you


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