After 15 years of living in Cleveland, OH my husband and I decided we would move back to Buffalo. We discussed it with our daughters and they agreed, even though they would miss everything about what they considered home. The idea of having more sleepovers with cousins and spending time with their grandmas, aunts and uncles was too good to pass up.
The girls also couldn’t wait for a nice, long summer!! Kasia who was 10 years old was starting at a new gymnastics place. She had already been to a couple classes during previous visits, she knew the girls and the Coach and everyone was friendly.
We sold our home and officially moved back Memorial Day weekend! I was so happy to be back. We went to our nephew’s baseball game and I had this great feeling inside. I told Peter, this is why we moved back home, so we can see family more often. There was so much happiness running though me at that moment, our first weekend living back in Buffalo. I went with Kasia to the restroom and that’s when everything changed. A patch was discovered. All my good feelings gone and worry set it.
This is how our Alopecia journey started… on 6/2/18. The dermatologist diagnosed Kasia with Alopecia Areata (appt was on 6/5/18) and was positive all her hair would return. She prescribed a steroid cream that we rubbed on her patch nightly, it did nothing. They wanted to try steroid injections into her scalp, she refused. By the middle of June she had missing patches of hair on top of her head as well. The hair loss was so aggressive.
This is when I reached out to Wigs for Kids. I provided pictures and a diagnosis letter from her doctor. We were sent a letter stating she qualified for a hair piece and provided a measuring kit. I cannot explain how devastating it was processing the fact that my child, my little 10 year old was losing her beautiful brown curls and needed a wig!
A Natural Image was the only salon in this area that worked with Wigs for Kids. I was so incredibly grateful to have this service provided to my daughter. I was extremely emotional and Kasia’s feelings were in limbo, she was still trying to adjust to moving to a new state and now she was going bald!
Kasia wasn’t sure what to expect at our first visit, but her nerves settled when we were greeted by an adorable doggie, Ferrari. Joanie introduced herself and made us feel welcome and comfortable. We were taken to a quiet, private room where my daughter felt OK discussing her hair loss. Joanie explained the Wigs for Kids process to us and what all is involved. She measured my girl for her first wig, it was a bittersweet moment. Excited for this amazing gift but sad that her hair loss has come to this. Joanie filled out the paperwork and shipped everything back for us.
By the end of July Kasia was missing so much hair she decided to shave it off with the help of her gymnastics team. She was bald.
It took about 10 weeks and we received a call from Joanie that she received the wig. We were anxious to see what it looked it. Opening the box was a special moment with some surprise balloons that were placed in there to make this a happy time. Kasia loved the wig! The hair was almost her exact color, it was long and beautiful. Joanie explained how she should put it on and assisted her in trying on her new hair. It was a great moment…the smile on Kasia’s face was priceless! The care and maintenance of the hair was explained and were told we could get it cut and styled if we liked.
The whole Wigs for Kids process was stress-free, about the only thing at that time that was! A Natural Image was there for my daughter when we needed something positive and uplifting. This hairpiece gave my daughter confidence and peace of mind. There are not enough words to express how much this meant to us. It was overwhelming to think of the hair donations, the time to make the piece and stylists that provide their time and expertise to help a child during a tough time like this. I can’t thank Wigs for Kids, A Natural Image and Joanie enough.
Kasia’s diagnosis has changed to Alopecia Universalis, complete body hair-loss.