When I was ten years old I watched my mother’s life “change for the rest of her life,” but today I realize what the doctor and her friends told her about her life changing for the worst was the exact opposite.
For my tenth birthday my parents gave me the present that I had been asking for FOREVER! That present was…a dog! My parents told me that 1) It had to come from a pound or a breeder (my family DOES NOT support puppy mills), 2) I had to take responsibility to the new family member and 3) I had to train him and show him in 4-H.
On my birthday my parents took me to a couple of the surrounding animal shelters around town. I didn’t know what kind of dog I was looking for but I knew that I would know him when I saw him. Hours of looking at different canines — old, young, big and small — I found my dog! To my parents the dog that I wanted had the most funky style of black fur, kinda ugly, and thin. What I saw? An angel who was meant to be my dog!
My family had troubles with my new pet, Moe, but over time we figured out how to take care of my new family member.A few weeks after I adopted Moe my mother started having health troubles. Suddenly, her beautiful, thick hair started to vanish and her hair started to thin rapidly. A friend of hers pointed out that she had a bald spot and at that point she decided to visit her family doctor. The family doctor was pretty sure he knew what it was, but he referred her to a dermatologist to try to be absolutely certain. At the appointment the dermatologist pulled out a sample of her hair and said, “I’m sorry but you have alopecia. You will go bald and be bald for the rest of your life.” Alopecia is an auto immune disease that affects mostly toddlers and teenagers and often times runs in their family. Though in other cases, older generations can be diagnosed with it. It does not affect the recipient in any other way other than obsessive hair loss and then complete baldness and in most cases it will never come back and if it does, it most likely will come back in a couple of months. It was devastating to my mother! WOMEN FIND THEIR IDENTITY IN THEIR BEAUTY.Since her diagnoses I’ve watched her be essentially bullied from family, certain “friends”, and random strangers because she wears a wig or when she doesn’t wear a wig she has awkward bald spots.Watching my mom be “sick” I have quickly realized how much women judge strictly on appearance. My mom has not had an easy path by any means when G-d allowed her to become “sick.”
Almost one year after she was diagnosed G-d did something to encourage my family but especially my mom. I found out that my dog with “crazy hair” had Chinese crested in him. The Chinese crested dog is bouncy, sometimes stubborn, and primarily bald just the way my mom is. In December 2008 G-d answered the many prayers that many had been praying for. I was rubbing her head and…she had hair for the first time in a long time! Fortunately, she had a full head of hair again in a short matter of time. Unfortunately, the alopecia returned again and she is now fighting again. My mom has not let this stop her, though. She continues to fight and prove to society that beauty is not only on the outside, and inspires me to make the world a better place, just as she often teaches me to.