At 14, Sarah was diagnosed with alopecia. It is not easy being a teenager. Compounding normal teen stress and development with hair loss is a challenge of epic proportions.
With a heart full of hope and courage and a contagious smile, as a freshman in high school, Sarah started sharing with others her alopecia journey through a speech as part of her Speech and Debate coursework.
“I used to be shy, to be anxious about speaking in public. Now it’s something I look forward to doing.”
Her junior year at Drury University, Sarah was taking a web development course and gave a series of presentations centered on being bald and beautiful. A local professional was there to judge one round of the presentations. Sarah’s story encouraged the judge as she was struggling with a recent diagnosis of alopecia. Not even the professor knew of the judge’s diagnosis.
I was delighted for the opportunity to meet Sarah this morning and hear her stories. She stepped out of her green PT Cruiser wearing all things Royals blue.
“My younger brother plays baseball in the Springfield Metro league and my dad coaches. They are both Cardinals fans. But my mom’s from Kansas City, so I decided to support her and cheer for the Royals. She was in tears when they won the World Series.”
We met at Glenwood Park first thing this morning to toss the ball. Thankfully the road construction had stopped for the weekend. Sarah told me that she’s the biggest cheerleader for her younger brother’s team.
“He gave me a present recently. It’s a t-shirt that reads, ‘My favorite player calls me big sis.’”
Next month, Sarah will start her senior year at Drury studying public relations and strategic communications. Her dream job is to work in government affairs and public relations with OTC. She already has one major PR success under her belt; Sarah helped run the Captain Springfield campaign for Janelle.
Sarah’s favorite verses from Scripture are the same verses Mom often read to me before bedtime prayers, the same verses I have on a cross made by Baseball Seams Co.
“Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5 – 6)
I don’t know why I lost all my hair at 6. Sweating through hats and funny tan lines have become a way of life. Already, Sarah is making the most of the opportunities given to her, using her story to bring hope and encouragement to others. I’m looking forward to cheering her on wherever her story leads.