Hi, my name is Isabella, I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata when I was 10 years old. My mum and my brother both have Alopecia as well. I am 13 years old and am a competitive gymnast. I am currently doing level 4 Women’s Artistic Gymnastics. The Australian Alopecia Areata Foundation is sponsoring me to do my gymnastics which is amazing.
I first started losing my hair just before the lockdown in 2020. I have had many patches come and go since then but at one stage I had almost complete hair loss on my head. Whilst this was hard, having my mum and brother going through Alopecia as well helped me to stay strong. I started high school this year, year 7, and that was tough with Alopecia too, but I asked my year leader if I could speak to the whole year about what Alopecia is and what it is like to look different. She said yes and because I spoke so well they then arranged for me to speak to the entire senior school which really helped with how people treated me at school. They no longer thought I was sick and knew what Alopecia was.
At Gymnastics I am in a squad and we sat down with my coach and squad talking about what it is like to look different and how sometimes we don’t realise the things we say can hurt others.
This year I qualified for the State Gymnastics Competition which was amazing, and then I competed at State where I achieved some personal best scores and had a great time competing. My favourite thing about Gymnastics is competing, I love being on that floor and performing my routines as well as knowing if there is anyone watching that has something that makes them look different I hope they look at me and think “wow she is out there with her patches competing and not letting her Alopecia stop her”. I want other kids and people to know that Alopecia shouldn’t stop you from doing anything, we are just the same as everyone else and can do everything that everyone else can.
I am so excited to see where Gymnastics takes me next and look forward to sharing my exciting achievements with you in my next update.
Leave a Reply