Alopecia Took My Hair but Not My Spirit
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Shelby suffers from alopecia leaving her with no eyelashes, eyebrows or any hair on her body, but she refused to let it take her spirit.
Her mother Rebecca first noticed her daughter had a problem with her hair at just 7 years old when they discovered Shelby had a bald spot. Her doctor thought it was due to stress. For the next four years, she underwent a series of painful shots in her scalp in an attempt to treat it. Finally, when she was 12, Shelby was correctly diagnosed with alopecia.
Growing up having to wear a wig was not easy for Shelby, who endured teasing, questions if she had cancer or if her condition was contagious. In one particularly difficult instance, a fellow student pulled her wig off in the middle of class.
At 15, she went on a new medication and miraculously her hair grew back and she graduated from high school with a full head of hair. Unfortunately, the regrowth did not last. Just 7 months later, she lost all the hair on her body and was forced to wear wigs yet again.
“It was hard to go from my hair to no hair. It was a big adjustment,” she says, explaining it takes her an hour to get ready now, compared to just 5 to 10 minutes when she had her own hair. She adds, “Friends have kind of turned their backs on me. Guys don’t see that it’s just a thing. It’s hard for me to look in the mirror and say, ‘Oh yeah, you’re beautiful."
The Doctors treat Shelby to a complete eyebrow and hair transformation with help from celebrity wardrobe stylist Tom Soluri, wig specialist Mona Zargar, and alopecia-experienced makeup artist Katrina Baxter, plus a stylish outfit from ECI New York and Cole Haan. We also set up Shelby for an appointment for new eyebrows from Permanent Makeup by Mel.
See Shelby’s dramatic makeover that has her saying through tears of joy, “I feel amazing… this is an experience of a lifetime,” in the video below! Plus, find out the amazing gift that The Meryl Kern Survivorship Program and the Tower Cancer Research Foundation have for Shelby.