Hi my name is Jesse London.
When I was 8 years old, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called Alopecia Areata. Alopecia is when your body thinks it’s allergic to your hair and makes your hair fall out. Other than losing my hair, and my allergies getting worse from losing my nose hair and eyelashes, I’m completely healthy. Alopecia can happen to anyone at anytime in their life. 2% of Americans have alopecia that’s about 6 million people. It was very confusing and scary at first. My family researched about it so we can learn more and educate others. My parents are the best! They have guided me through my alopecia journey…They have been my biggest supporters!
There is no cure for alopecia! My mom noticed something was wrong when she was cutting my nails one day. they looked pitted. Then one morning I woke up and my pillow was covered in hair. That night at dinner my parents noticed a bald spot on the back of my head. The next morning my mom took me to the doctor and I was diagnosed with alopecia areata. Just so you know, Alopecia is NOT contagious!
There are 3 kinds of alopecia:
Alopecia areata -patchy hair loss on the scalp.
Alopecia totalis – total hair loss on the scalp. Which I was diagnosed with about two months later.
And Alopecia Universalis-it is the most rare form of alopecia- total hair loss on the scalp and body. Which I have been recently diagnosed with.
When my hair first started falling out, some of my friends did not want to play with me, they thought I was contagious. We tried a few different treatments… non of them made my hair grow back.
We reached out to the non profit Children’s Alopecia Project. Also known as CAP They invited us and a few alopecia families to be on the American Ninja Warrior show, as Kevin Bull’s Super Fans. That was the first time I ever met anyone else with alopecia. Kevin Bull has alopecia and is a big inspiration to the CAP family.
I did a presentation in front of my entire school. My teacher shaved his head to show support.
I received over 100 letters from kids at my school thanking me for inspiring them to be brave and embrace differences.
That inspired my brother Dylan and I to write a comic book about my journey with alopecia. We hope our book inspires others to be kind, brave and embrace differences. We are all different….that’s what makes us unique!
It is important to love yourself the way you are, and accept others the way they are!
Next time you see someone different, smile don’t stare, be kind!
The Acorn Newspaper and Calabasas Style Magazine shared my story and helped me raise awareness in our community.
By the way, Alopecia does come with some perks:
I save water by taking one minute showers☺
I can’t get lice ☺
I save my parents money on shampoo and haircuts 🙂
And I NEVER HAVE A BAD HAIR DAY! ☺