Thursday, July 8, 2010

Alopecia, Beauty Queens and Courage

As most of you know, my almost 8 year old daughter, Abby, has alopecia areata. What this means, in layman's terms, is that Abby's body attacks her hair follicles as if they are disease. Therefore, Abby doesn't grow hair very well.  So far it has been cyclical for Abby. She lost it the first time when she was 4, it grew back, then fell out again. Right now, for the first time in about 2 years, she is growing quite a bit of hair, some eyelashes and some eyebrows.

Funny thing about the hair growth this time? Abby actually asked me to shave her head last week. I struggled with it and put it off, without her knowing I was putting it off, and she has since decided to see what happens for now. The really cruel thing about Alopecia? It is unpredictable. Abby could grow it all back, and it might never fall out again, or it might and it might never grow back, or it might. It is uncontrollable and unpredictable and for a Type A personality like myself? Well let's just say it has taught me some very valuable lessons.  

One of the neatest things happened just the other night at Abby's swim meet. She was showing some of her friends this picture:
Now keep in mind, most of the folks on swim team are used to seeing Abby like this:

So, they were pretty surprised and thought it was really cool that she had wigs!  They were so impressed that more than one little girl went up to their Mom and said they wanted to shave their head and wear wigs like Abby. Now. How. Cool. Is. That?  Abby has those girls wanting to be like her instead of the Abby wanting to be like them. Wow. What a lesson. That's the thing about Abby, she has taught so many folks, (and this is what I am told by many people) young and old, so many life lessons.  There is more courage in that little girl's pinky finger than in my whole body. She teaches me something every day. I am so proud of her.

I am also very proud of Kayla Martell (you can find her blog here) the new Miss Delaware. Kayla also has alopecia...and she's a beauty queen. Talk about inspiring. She has said that she thinks she can accomplish more as Miss Delaware without her wig than with it.  On Kayla's blog she says,
"My dream is to change someones life one day. I share my story to bring awareness to Alopecia Areata, which I have had since 1999. And I am working to become Miss America one day, because I know in my heart that every girl is a beauty queen, whether she has hair, or not!"

Well, Kayla, you have done that. You have touched so many with your drive and your determination. You have inspired and encouraged my little girl. You reminded her and have shown her, nothing is impossible, even becoming a beauty queen. You are an inspiration and a role model to so many. Keep up that excellent work. You make us proud.

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Darkwulfe said...

You know I have said this before to you and will say it again...the strength in Abby is just amazing...great blog!

Anonymous said...

Gosh, Mandy, you moved me to tears with this one. What an amazing little girl you have!!!

Mandy said...

Julio-yes, she is quite amazing.

Leslee-aww, didn't mean to make you cry! She is my inspiration.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

What an amazing story. I think Abby could be the next pageant queen in your area!

Anonymous said...

That's wonderful that she has Miss Delaware to look up to. What a wonderful picture of your girls, too!

Samantha said...

truly inspiring, Mandy. What a terrific girl Abby is!

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