In September of 2010, Our 22 month old, Kevin was diagnosed with Alopecia, we are raising money to support the Children's Alopecia Project.
Amazingly he was born with so much hair that we called him our little monkey. Even his birth announcements and thank you notes were custom made with hanging monkeys. His first Halloween, guess what...he was a monkey.
At 22 months on a beautiful September day I noticed his part was thinning, in fact, it was a clear circle of baldness. Ignoring it for a few weeks I then started to see another bald spot, about the size of a nickel behind it. At this point I had a feeling we were in for something I never expected.
I was told by his PT (another story) that it was getting worse and so I called the pediatric dermatologist, and fortunately (or unfortunately) they happened to have an appointment available that afternoon. The diagnosis was just as I had thought; our baby was losing his hair.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune diesase where the immune systen basically blocks the growth signal to the healthy hamr follicles. The severity can vary but there is no cure. There was no way to tell what the progression of the disease will be for Kevin but there are treatments available.
So after that appointment, we held our heads high and confidently proceeded. As I expected, the ointments didn’t' have much effect so we stopped treatment (the beach and playground are no fun when you have a thick ointment smeared on your thining hair and bald spots) and now a year later Kevin is about 90% bald and his eyebrows are starting to thin as well.
Over the year I've gone through all the stages, denial, anger etc. I've gotten the sad looks, the offers for help from cancer foundations, the loud comments from other 3 year olds and the insensitive nurse who didn't want to give him a flu shot because she didn't have the time to check his chart and instead assumed he was ill. On the other hand we've seen an outpouring of affection and support from our family, friends and community and know that we can handle this disesase and whatever it may bring.
Out of all my four kids, Kevin has the tools and the personality to go through this trial with grace and strength. He is a smart, alert and caring young boy. We are still praying for a miracle but are nonetheless anticipating a difficult set of school years where kids will be kids and Kevin will be targeted.
Until that time, it is our job to love and nurture him and give him a sense of security and foundation that is unshakable. Through our faith in Jesus Christ we place this confidence and pray that this trial will be in some way glorifying to the kingdom.
We are thankful for the support system we have but want to start getting more involved in the process for searching for better treatments but mostly for partnering with CAP in providing support, information and awareness in an effort to the word out about alopecia.
In knowledge there is power, this will be our greatest tool in this fight, so for Kevin's sake and the sake of the other children with this diesease will you stand strong with us and partner with us in this endeavor? Our goal is to raise $1000 by Kevin's 3rd birthday.
Much Love, Janice and Peter LaRocca