Hi, my name is Piper and I have just turned 9 and finished Grade 3. About 4 years ago my mum was brushing my hair when she noticed a little bald patch. For a while, I just had little patches that moved around a bit, but then the patches got bigger and bigger, and in Grade 1 I lost over 40% of my hair and had no hair on the top of my head.
It was around this time that I started cheerleading. I also received some trial mediation that resulted in all of my hair growing back. My love of cheerleading also continued to grow, and by Grade 3 I was selected for an elite competitive cheerleading team at Infinity Athletics, where I was one of the youngest in the team.
About 12 months ago, I started to get little patches of hair falling out again. This time, my hair started falling out really fast, and I have now lost around 80% of my hair. Thanks to the Doctors at the Queensland Children’s Hospital and the trial mediation (which also helps my juvenile idiopathic arthritis) my hair has stopped falling out and a little bit of it is growing back, but I still only have about 20% of my hair, which I love styling in fun hairstyles!
It has been a bit hard, and I struggle sometimes with people staring and some kids at school making fun of me, but I know it’s because they don’t know about alopecia and don’t understand. My cheerleading family is the best, and no one ever makes fun of me and they are so supportive and have been there for me no matter what. They know that you don’t need hair to be a great cheerleader!
In 2022, my cheerleading team competed in a number of competitions, and placed a few times, including 1st at Battles, 2nd and 3rd at Majors, 3rd at Winterfest and 5th at Nationals. In 2023 we will be travelling to Melbourne and Townsville to compete and I am so excited! I am also excited to spread the wording about alopecia areata, so more people understand what it is. In cheerleading, everyone is included and has a place and it doesn’t matter what you look like, so I want to use my sponsorship as an opportunity to educate people about alopecia areata, and also to help me embrace alopecia.
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