Hair Donation Hero – Jocelyn

20180504_140047[1]My name is Jocelyn Montecinos and I am currently 21 years old. I have Chilean background and I have been playing basketball since age 4. In 2016-2017, I went to America to play College basketball but I had to put that on hold as I got injured.  I currently have my part-time job and my side job which is based on a hobby of mine, making handmade jewellery and other craft products.

I first heard about the hair donation program after I looked up online Australian hair donation places and AAAF popped up.

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Healthy Alopecia – Anthea’s Story

IMG_1445By Anthea

My life as a little innocent girl with alopecia was tough.

I lost all my hair when I was 6 years old my mum decided to get me a wig but when I would play on the monkey bars it would fall off leaving me humiliated in front of other kids as they would ask me where my hair was. I simply answered I don’t have any, so from then on, I refused to wear one. In Primary School I regained some hair but still had lots of patches all over my head, so I wore a scarf.

My confidence was at an all-time low. I became very quiet and shy didn’t really look at people when I was spoken too as I feared they would comment on my lack of hair or even worse, be teased. During High School I hung out with what you would call the in-crowd as they went to all the parties, which was an outlet for me as I would ride myself off on alcohol which became a comfort for me and gained me a little more confidence that I longed for.

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How do you deal with stress?

How do you deal with stress? In our busy lives, how do you manage your time?

Alopecia Areata isn’t caused by stress, but it can be stressful. We asked the Team Behind the Scenes here at AAAF (aka our amazing Committee volunteers) how they tackle stress and time management.

 

Chel – AAAF President

I am a list-er. I make lists for everything! Not only does it clear my head of remembering all the things I have to do, but it’s so satisfying when I get to cross things off (as nerdy as that sounds). I also try to set small achievable goals every day to make big tasks seem approachable. Most importantly, I try to set aside time in the day for some fresh air and exercise. Whether that’s just a quick walk around the block or a trip to the beach, it helps with managing my stress by giving my brain and body a chance to recharge.

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My Alopecia Story

By Michelle 

Alopecia Areata began for me as a small patch at the back of my head at age 15, in 1992. It progressed slowly until the year following high school, when at age 18, I lost most of my head hair for the first time. As my hair decreased, so did my mood and my confidence, while my dreams and goals went down the drain along with the lost strands. I gradually became severely anxious and depressed over the next couple of years. I wore hats and scarves to cover my patchy head, and dreaded talking about my AA.

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Faye’s Story and Healthy Alopecia

Faye Read with friendBy Faye, age 11

Alopecia is not the easiest thing in the world and for a while, I didn’t believe that it was possible to do all the things I did before my alopecia came back when I was in year four. But after a while, I came to the realisation that I was missing out on things because I was avoiding all the questions and the stares. Now I am back into everything and am joining in with sports and other activities with my friends.

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Life with Alopecia – Pat’s Story

PatMy alopecia story began in 1989 when I was 39 years old. I experienced a tremendous shock that was to last some years. Not long after this, my first small patch of hair disappeared from the top of my head. Although I was preoccupied with bigger concerns, I was a little worried and the doctor sent me to a dermatologist who also seemed rather unconcerned. His exact words were “oh people are walking around like this all the time” like it was no big deal.  Yet the patches of hair loss became larger and the cortisone injections into my scalp only regrew sparse white hairs of a totally different texture to my own. In time I stopped having the painful injections and decided instead to get a wig.

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WA Boys Weekend Recap

Eagle Bay Boys Weekend 16-18 March

In March 2018, AAAF ran our first event just for boys with Alopecia Areata – a weekend camp in WA. Hosted by Greg O’Rourke, the WA AAAF Branch Manager, at his holiday home in Eagle Bay, three hours south of Perth, the camp was attended by six boys aged nine to fourteen.

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(Left to Right: Greg, James, Cam, Carlo)

Some of their parents also attended, along with other members of the AAAF team – Support Ambassadors James Miller and Cam O’Rourke  and Carlo Napolitano. Carlo and James flew in from Sydney on the Friday evening especially for this camp.

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Alopecia Community

By Linsey Painter

When we moved to Cairns four years ago the last thing on my mind was meeting a group of ladies with alopecia and forming lovely friendships.

I had never intentionally sought out anyone with alopecia before, certainly never while I was in high school, during my toughest years of having to cope with being bald. Before coming to Cairns I had only ever known two other people who had alopecia.

We all met through our gorgeous hairdresser. Angela, from Angel Wigs in Melbourne, treks up to Cairns regularly and offers haircuts, wig fittings and support.

On this particular occasion, she asked me if I would mind a couple of ladies coming to my house to have their wigs cut. Time was tight and it would be easier if we could meet all in one place.

I said, ‘Yes’.

What followed was an amazing time of sharing, building friendships, emotional support and a sense of belonging.

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What Healthy Alopecia means to me

By Rachel

Rachel (3)
My son’s 1st birthday party – trying to keep a smile on my face despite finding my bald patch that morning

Alopecia intruded on my life unexpectedly and without warning on the day of my youngest son’s cowboy themed 1st birthday party. It’s difficult to forget how I felt when my first bald patch was discovered by my husband; how was I expected to hide this newfound shame while still trying to deliver my son the best birthday imaginable, all the while being dressed in full cowgirl getup. I wasn’t sure what was going on and felt shocked, immediately booking an appointment to see my doctor the next day. My hair has always been big, boofy and there has always been a lot of it – for me to have any type of bald patch was unimaginable.

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