Alopecia Areata (The Hair Loss Disease)

May 20, 2009
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Like many third graders I had many friends, but one was like a sister, her name is Brianna. Four years later she is still my best friend. This story is about her and her disease.

Unknown to me, in third grade Brianna began to have soft bald patches in her thick blond hair. Her mother noticed and immediately consulted her pediatrician. She went through several doctors before they came to a diagnosis. Brianna had Alopecia Areata, a disease that causes hair loss. Like any little girl she cried, because she didn't want to lose all her hair. In most cases you only lose some of your hair and there's a 90% chance that it will grow back.

Brianna wasn't so lucky by the next year(fourth grade)she was only left with a few strands. The doctor told her she had a severe case and it wouldn't be growing back. At this point she hadn't told any of her friends. Then, rumors started spreading that she had cancer and was going to die. People would come up to her and say "I hope you get better" Finally, she couldn't take her friends thinking she was going to die so she confided in another one of her friends and told her about her disease and that she wasn't going to die. Instead of supporting her she spread more rumors that Brianna was pulling her own hair out.

By the end of 4th grade she was completely bald. She had permission from the school to wear hats, bandannas, and wigs. For 5th grade she wore a wig. Brianna also taught the school about her condition and cleared up all the false rumors. I became her closest friend again and helped people understand Alopecia.
If I myself had this condition, I would ultimately breakdown. I would cry every night and not have the courage to go to school. Brianna is the most courageous girl I know. She is always optimistic and a great friend. Even though she's not fighting a deadly disease she's fighting rumors and helping kids understand her condition. Brianna is my Hero.

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