With AAAF South Australian Branch Manager Liz Bear.
- What’s your connection to Alopecia/AAAF?
I was first diagnosed with AA 34 years ago. My eldest daughter also has AA as did my paternal grandfather.
- Tell us about the NAAF Conference
The NAAF Conference is held annually at various cities in the United States by the the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. People with AA and their families attend from all over the United States and some from Overseas. This year it will be held in Miami, Florida. During the 4 day conference, while different session are on during the day for attendees, NAAF organises a children’s camp so children with AA can meet others who are like them. There can be around 500 attendees.
- Why do you want to attend?
I am very interested in meeting and forging friendships with other support groups.
- What are you hoping to achieve by attending?
There are also quite a number of sessions which I would like to attend to hear how others deal with issues we have arising all the time. The highlight will be hearing Dr Angela Christiano speak and hear more about her research.
- What are you most excited about in attending?
I’m excited to be part of a large group of people with the same condition as myself. When I was first diagnosed there was no support group anywhere in Australia. I was continually asked by my wig supplier to talk to people who suffered AA and we’re having difficulty coping, but I never met them personally.
- What, if anything, are you nervous/worried about?
The only thing I am worried about at the moment is that we may miss a connecting flight.
- Have you been to America before? Is there anything else you’d like to do while you’re there?
Yes, I have been to America a couple of times, most recently in 2014. I’ve never been to Florida so I would like to visit the Everglades and take in the atmosphere around Miami.
- What does Embrace Alopecia mean to you?
To me, Embrace Alopecia means being comfortable living with yourself & with your hairloss. It may take some time but you are still the same person on the inside as you always were. Looks aren’t everything.
Liz will be one of two AAAF representatives who will be attending the NAAF Conference in Miami, Florida. If you have questions you’d like to ask or have AAAF ask the expert speakers, please let us know in the comments. Be sure to follow AAAF on Facebook for live updates!