My name is Amy Keth and I’m currently a sophomore in college. I started losing hair when I was 11 years old but I didn’t know what it was until my freshman year of high school. That was when I was diagnosed with alopecia areata. For three years, my bald spots constantly came and went. Once one spot grew back, another spot would start forming. They were about the size of the palm of my hand. This hair disease was starting to impact my life. I was afraid to do so many things because I was scared people would make fun of me. And unfortunately, some did. I became very self-conscious of not just my hair, but everything about myself. I felt ugly and I kept asking myself, “why me?”. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. Although this disease did not do any real harm to me, it did mentally.
I decided to do research on alopecia areata and I learned that I wasn’t alone. In my case of alopecia, I only lose patches of hair on my head, and it comes and goes. It would grow back for a while and then I would lose some again. However, there are many other cases of alopecia where people are completely bald (alopecia totalis) or lose all of their body hair (alopecia universalis) permanently. I found a website where many people who were diagnosed with alopecia shared their story and interacted with each other. It was a way of letting out their feelings and to just connect with other people who are in the same situation as them.
With the love and support from my family and friends, and from many inspiring posts I read online, I realized that I shouldn’t let this disease take control of me. Alopecia areata is a part of me and I shouldn’t be ashamed of it. I’m a believer in everything happening for a reason and while it did bring me a lot of stress, it’s what made me become a stronger person and who I am today. Happiness is not determined by what you face, but how you face it. By accepting my condition, I know that other challenges, big and small, will not get in my way.
I want to help raise awareness of alopecia areata and to let those who were just diagnosed know that they are not alone. The National Alopecia Areata Foundation is a non profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with alopecia areata. NAAF funds research to find a cure or acceptable treatment for alopecia areata and related diseases, supports those with the disease, and educates the public about alopecia areata. Help me support National Alopecia Areata Foundation by making a donation. If you can’t make a donation at this point, help me reach my goal by sharing this page on Facebook and Twitter or reblogging this. September is Alopecia Areata Awareness Month and my goal is to reach $250 by the end of this month. Even if I don’t reach this goal, I’ll still be happy knowing I made some kind of difference. I truly appreciate any support you can provide.