Being a teenager with Alopecia Universalis has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to face as an individual. Locks of Love has given me the opportunity to grow as an individual by strengthening my self-esteem and accepting to love myself for the way I am.
I was first diagnosed with Alopecia Areata at the age of five. At the age of three, I had begun to show symptoms, such as small hair-loss patches on my scalp. I had begun to completely lose my hair around the time I began Kindergarten. By the time school started, I was completely bald and wore hats every day. Kindergarten was a difficult year. The kids at school constantly picked on me and elaborated how different I was to everyone else. Coming home from school upset only made my mother upset as well. My family worried about me and didn’t take the news of my diagnosis well. They were very unfamiliar with what Alopecia actually was.
Luckily, one of my mother’s friends mentioned to her about Locks of Love. My mother began researching more about the organization. Once she knew more about Locks of Love, she and my father sat with me on the couch and spoke to me about it. Within a few months, I got my first hairpiece in the mail. It was an amazing and an exhilarating moment. I was overcome with so much joy. When I first put on my hairpiece, I remember looking at myself in the mirror and thought to myself, I finally looked like a normal girl. I pictured the wind blowing through my hair and having the chance to actually run my fingers through it. I was blown away by how different someone can actually look with or without hair. Years have passed and Locks of Love continued offering me the opportunity to feel normal and love myself for who I am.
I am currently a sophomore in High School. I joined the High School Marching Band. During my freshmen year, I made it onto the Varsity Cheerleading team. Luckily enough, this past July I was able to celebrate my Quincenera (Sweet 15) surrounded with loved ones. I felt like a true princess. These opportunities came about because of Locks of Love. The ability to learn to accept myself for who I am and fit in and it was thanks to them. I learned to accept that I have Alopecia and that it doesn’t define who I am. It only makes me feel special. For each passing year, I loved each hair piece just the same. I care for them very well. When I wear my hairpiece, I see myself as beautiful. I want to thank Locks of Love for all that they do.
With Love, Carolyne