Promoting Positivity: A Young Women’s Journey After Getting Diagnosed with Hair Loss
Alopecia Areata is a form of hair loss that occurs when your immune system accidentally attacks your hair follicles, treating them as a disease, with the goal of the attack to destroy the follicles. Despite all of the research that has been done so far, scientists do not know why the immune system attacks the follicles, or how to stop it.
When I was sixteen, I had my first encounter with this disease. Over the course of a year, what started with a quarter sized bald spot, turned into total hair loss. As one might imagine, I was devastated. I had never heard of Alopecia before my diagnosis, so I had to take time to not only process the situation, but to also educate myself as much as possible about the disease, statistics, and the treatment options.
I started getting cortisone injections in my scalp every 4-6 weeks. It was extremely painful, and would leave me tired and with a headache. Hair would re-grow, only to fall out at a later time. I started experimenting with extensions, hair pieces and wigs. I was bullied, and dealt with a lot of anxiety and depression, but after years of struggling, I am finally confident with who I am and all that I have to offer, hair or no hair.
I decided that the only way to help myself gain positivity and confidence, is to help others with their own struggles. I started “The Love Spreader,” an online organization dedicated to helping people around the globe to become happier and healthier people. My main message is to “embrace you for all that you are, and all that you will be.” A lot of children, teens, and young adults do not realize just how special they are, because they constantly compare themselves to others, and as a result, put themselves down. Flaws are beautiful. Moles, crooked noses, big eyebrows, thick thighs, are all beautiful because they make each of us unique and special. Please remember that, no matter what. I am now THANKFUL for my journey with Alopecia, because if I never got it, I never would have met people around the Globe, traveled as much as I have, or discovered my passion for education: vlogging, writing, and positivity.
In the future, I want to be able to speak at universities around the country to raise awareness of Alopecia and to raise money for research. I also would love to travel and speak to kids dealing with a multitude of diseases and show them how they can love themselves for who they are, no matter how they look. I will be traveling to London in April to work with a few organizations to raise awareness, and speak with a group of girls. Furthermore, I will be traveling to Columbia in October, to represent the United States at a Global Youth leadership event.
–Written by Guest Blogger- Devon Carrow
Besides chatting in front of a camera, or writing at Starbucks, Devon Carrow works full-time, and is a student living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Devon is a fervent traveler, self-proclaimed book-worm, and aficionada of all things British. Say hello to her at firstname.lastname@example.org & www.devoncarrow.com