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Caitlin was born with a condition called Alopecia, which basically means that her hair follicles (the roots) didn't quite work right and she never grew any hair on her head. She didn't really have hair loss, her hair literally never grew in the first place. This is a story time about a girl with no hair.
There are different types of Alopecia - one kind where your hair grows back and then falls out again, and one kind where it doesn't grow in at all. Caitlin had the kind where it doesn't grow in at all, and so, growing up, she was bald. "I've totally lost my hair, my hair is gone," she thought. Hair loss is a really tough thing to deal with in our society especially at such a young age. Balding, makes you different as a kid when all you want to do is fit in.
It was hard having to go through her childhood with no hair. She had to wear wigs, which she didn't like, and when she would be hanging out with her friends and they would say, "lets get our hair done" and she would be really sad because she would be missing out.
In school, people were mean to her as well as being her friends. People would pull off her wig in front of everyone and laugh at her, her bald head. Why were kids so mean? Mean girls, mean boys. and mean people would stare at her. They would be pointing, staring, laughing. It made her so sad, depressed and hurt her self esteem. She thought, "I can't believe they pulled off my wig. Why is everyone staring at me? I lost my hair, thats all." She knew she looked different than other people but she was still a person just like everyone else.
But all was ultimately okay as Caitlin learned that with difficult things, often come good things. She could not and did not get head lice. Kids in her school class got head lice and she never had to even get checked, because she had no hair! Thats a benefit to being bald as a kid. She never had to get treated for head lice, she never had head lice because she just did not have hair. She laughs about it as it's one of the things being bald as a kid has over kids with hair.
She learned about the Rapunzel Foundation, who like Locks of Love, takes in donated hair from people who donate their hair, in order to make wigs for people. A wig is made from real human hair so it looks as real as a wig can and helps people feel better about themselves.
Then some amazing happened...When Caitlin turned 10, her hair started to grow!!! It continued to grow and when it was long enough, she got hair extensions and finally had hair! LONG hair. No longer a balk kid, she felt more like everyone else. As her hair continued to grow, she got rid of the extensions in her hair got it hair trimmed / styled and now looks and feels like everyone else with a full head of hair. It was a dream come true for her. She had her own head of hair and as a result was so happy and so confident! "I lost my hair but now I have a full head of hair. I am lucky, grateful and so happy." Alopecia made the first part Caitlin's life tough but it also helped her see the world in a way that many others never will. When you get something everyone else has that you never have, like sight, hearing or hair, you can appreciate it an a very different level. Being grateful in a very special and unique way.
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