‘I would like individuals to know what is going on on so they would not bully others and me’
Faculty helps scholar deal with Alopecia & bullying that comes with it
“Generally it is laborious.” Jenna Gathercole, 9, talks about having Alopecia, a illness that causes hair loss, and the way her college helps her cope
Malcolm Denemark, Florida At present
“Hello, my identify is Jenna and I’ve one thing to share with you: that is my story of alopecia.”
Jenna Gathercole, a fourth-grader at Viera Charter School, led an meeting at her college Tuesday to coach her classmates concerning the autoimmune illness alopecia, which causes her in any other case thick, curly, shoulder-length hair to fall out in massive chunks, forsaking bald spots on the edges of her head and base of her neck.
Not understanding why Jenna’s hair was gone, plenty of youngsters made enjoyable of her and Jenna determined she wished to inform her classmates about her illness after an encounter with a bully who referred to as her a boy.
“I wished to let individuals know what was occurring so they would not bully others or me, and they also would know one thing is happening and it is not my fault and there is one thing that they need to learn about,” the 9-year-old mentioned.
Jenna gave a PowerPoint presentation that she made herself throughout lunch at Viera Constitution. Afterward, her class took a pledge to be sort, to not bully others and to intervene in the event that they see others being bullied.
She mentioned the commonest questions she will get are about what causes the autoimmune illness, if there is a treatment and if it is contagious. Others ask her when she is going to go fully bald.
She informed her classmates that alopecia is a genetic illness, however medical doctors do not precisely know what causes it and subsequently haven’t got a treatment. She goes to the physician and dermatologist each three months, and makes use of a mixture of steroids, lotions and oils to attempt to develop her hair again.
She may someday go fully bald. She’s unsure if she’ll put on a wig or not.
“I all the time fear when she will get older, it is going to be so laborious,” her large sister Ellie, who attends Viera Excessive, mentioned by tears. “I couldn’t try this. I am unable to even think about if that was me. She’s so courageous.”
Jenna was recognized with alopecia when she was 3 years outdated. Her medical doctors monitor her well being in case there different underlying causes, reminiscent of lupus or thyroid dysfunction, which additionally trigger hair loss.
“We first observed somewhat bald spot, no hair by any means, and we thought for certain that Ellie, her outdated sister, shaved her,” her dad Jason laughed. “That was the one rationalization. After which one other little spot cropped up.”
Since her analysis, Jenna has tried 5 completely different remedies. Her dad and mom have determined to not have her bear painful injections in her scalp.
“What we have tried to do as an alternative is simply train her, ‘That is who you might be and you are going to have it to your complete life and it is OK,'” her mom Karen mentioned. Except for the lack of hair, she would not expertise another signs.
Jenna says it is not a giant deal.
“If I’ve hair or not, I am nonetheless the identical individual that I’ve all the time been.”
Glenn is the training reporter at FLORIDA TODAY.
Contact Glenn at 321-576-5933
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