A young girl from Hull has decided to have her hair made into a wig for her best friend with Alopecia Areata. Lea Turnell, aged 10, was originally growing her hair to help cancer patients, but when her friend Elisha Hooley, (also 10), was diagnosed with alopecia, she decided to donate her hair to her friend.
Many cases of Alopecia Areata develop at a young age. In Elisha’s case, her hair started to fall out in clumps when she was just six. At present, there is no cure for Alopecia Areata in children and no medications have yet been approved for its treatment although there are a number of potential alopecia areata treatments currently undergoing clinical trials. Although hair grows back within a year for 80% of children with the condition, Elisha has now started to lose hair from her eyebrows and eyelashes, suggesting her condition could be progressing to Alopecia Totalis.
Lea and Elisha are hoping to make the wig before they start secondary school next year. Elisha’s mum, Caroline Beadle, said,
“Elisha is a very emotional little girl and she is very worried about going to secondary school. She is scared some of the girls will say, ‘why haven’t you got any hair?’”.
In order to make the girls’ dream a reality, Lea and Elisha’s parents are trying to raise £2,000. Elisha’s mum, Caroline has set up a Facebook page for people to offer support and keep up-to-date with Elisha’s progress. The page has been inundated with offers of help, as Caroline explains:
"I can't believe how caring people have been. I was hoping maybe a few people from Hull would help us, but we've had offers of help from all over the world".
Others with Alopecia have also been supporting Lea and Elisha; Claire Lovick posted on the page; "Beautiful. I suffer from alopecia myself and it's heart-breaking. True friendship".
Thrilled with the support they have received, Elisha’s mum is also planning to set up a charity to help other children with hair loss. She said "the response has been so good; we know we can do something to help other children. It's not just Elisha who is affected by this - there are lots of other children out there who we could help".
If you’re concerned about hair loss from alopecia, treatment options may be available. Parents of children with hair loss should visit their GP for advice, while adults can visit a hair loss specialist for a professional diagnosis and personalised treatment advice.
|Information and Video: Treatments for Alopecia Areata||Little Princess Trust: A Children's Hair Loss Charity||Genetic Basis of Alopecia Areata Established|
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