A Prince Albert mother is hoping to raise money — and awareness — for a cause close to her family’s heart.
Kym Georget’s son, Cohen, has alopecia areata, an autoimmune skin disease causing hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes, other areas of the body. Alopecia affects as many as 6.8 million Americans each year.
According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, alopecia caused your body’s own immune system to attack healthy hair follicles, causing them to become smaller and slow down production to the point that hair growth can stop.
American actor Anthony Carrigan, American Ninja Warrior athlete Kevin Bull and NFL quarterback Joshua Dobbs all have alopecia.
Cohen started showing signs of alopecia when he was six. He’s eight now.
“It’s hard on him when people don’t understand what alopecia is,” Kym said.
“A lot of people think he has cancer because he doesn’t have any hair. He’s had quite a few rude comments saying he looks like an old man. He gets teased a lot because of not having hair.”
Sometimes people with alopecia have their hair spontaneously regrow. The likelihood for Cohen, though, is “doubtful,” Kym said.
On May 5, Kym cut her ponytail to donate her hair to Wigs For Kids. The charity provides full hair replacement systems wigs for kids, each valued at about $1,800, as well as support for children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, burns, trichotillomania and alopecia, along with other medical issues. The wigs are provided at no cost.
It takes 15-28 ponytails to make just one wig.
“The effects of hair loss go deeper than just a change in a child’s outward appearance,” Wigs for Kids writes on their website.
“They won’t come off on the baseball field or in the playground,” the site quotes founder Jeffrey Paul as saying.
“Kids can count on them. And because kids look just the way they did before, they feel better about themselves. They look in the mirror and their eyes light up. To see that light in their eyes … that’s priceless.”
Each hair replacement is hand-tied and made completely from human hair, looking just like a child’s own hair would.
Kym has donated to Wigs for Kids four times.
Now, she’s also holding a fundraiser on Facebook, hoping to raise the $1,800 it takes to purchase a wig for one deserving kid.
The wigs help kids to “feel a little bit better about themselves,” Kym said.
If Cohen and his family can raise the full amount, Cohen’s dad Patrick will let his son shave his head.
In addition to raising funds, the Georget’s are also hoping to raise a little bit of awareness.
“There’s not a lot for alopecia,” Kym said. “I had a hard time finding stuff. It’s just not really out there.”
As for Cohen, Kym said he doesn’t let his alopecia stop him.
“It’s our normal. We go with it every day and keep on our journey. Cohen is like any other kid. He just doesn’t grow hair.
What Cohen would like to stop, though, are the weird looks and mean comments he can get.
He had a few words for anyone who would snicker or stare.
“It’s not nice to be rude.”
You can donate funds on Facebook by searching Kym’s fundraiser for Wigs for Kids, or by visiting https://www.facebook.com/donate/152819273515588/