My friend, Chad is a photographer and a writer. He has a blog that is challenging, refreshing and at times awkward (for me) to read and view.
I DO love reading it and viewing it though because the content often discomforts me - and then the next day, comforts me.
It's a strange and beautiful combination.
Case in point:
Hope - the young Idaho teen with Alopecia. Until I met Hope, I did not know what that is. Chad helped me with the official definition:
Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. It usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth patches on the scalp and can progress to total scalp hair loss (alopecia totalis) or complete body hair loss (alopecia universalis).
- National Alopecial Areata Foundation
Chad's complete post is linked at the bottom, but take a second and read just a little of what this beautiful teen has had to endure from "adults".
She ran into a roadblock at her school when she asked the administration if she could sometimes wear a hat. Again, wearing a wig all day was uncomfortable and distracting to Hope. But the vice principal told her and Kate that hats are against the school’s dress code and that if they made an exception for Hope they would have to make one for everybody. (This writer doesn’t think the vice principal understands the word ‘exception’ at all, and it is with great restrain that I don’t publish this administrator’s name and the name of her school.) The next day Hope came to school without a wig. Fortunately most of her classmates were supportive of her. Unfortunately her head was cold. She has now switched schools to one that is more flexible in their dress code (and where the administrators actually have souls).
And more about her character:
But Hope’s reality is that she really loved her hair. It was her favorite feature of her body and the loss she has experienced is much more significant than it might be for someone else at a different time or stage in life. One of Hope’s desires is to go to Washington D.C. this summer for a gathering of kids with alopecia. There is both a conference for parents as well as a camp for the teenagers. She believes this will be a great opportunity for her to connect with some other girls she can truly relate with in this specific area.
And finally where the readers of and linkers to my blog can help:
When Hope posed for the pictures in this article she wasn’t hesitant to share the nakedness of her physical condition and at the same time express the fullness of her spirit. They are some of the most beautiful pictures this photographer has ever taken.
If you would like to donate to help send Hope and Kate to the Alopecia Areata Foundation conference and camp (in Washington DC), please click here to go to the NAAP site. They have re-posted this story and made it possible to donate directly for Hope and Kate’s participation. We would like to raise at least $2500 to pay for the conference, travel, and expenses for them. Thank you!
No, Chad, Thank you...
And thank you Hope, for giving adults a lesson in hope.
May all your dreams come true.
And may adults who care more than the "roadblock adults" help you get to Washington DC to speak to the world and give "Hope" to others.
Here is Chad's blog.