“It was November of 7th grade, the first year of middle school.  Tori was off to an amazing start earning straight A’s and also made the cheerleading squad.  At lunch one day a friend noticed that Tori had a bald spot near the front of her head.  Feeling embarrassed and uneasy, Tori came home and told me.  We immediately made an appointment to find out what was going on.  While we sat in the room waiting for the doctor to come in, Tori told me that she prayed all the way there that she didn’t have cancer.  Talk about having your heart yanked from your chest!  Thankfully it was not cancer but suspected alopecia.

Tori was referred to a dermatologist where it was confirmed.  She was offered a variety of treatments and nothing worked.  Through all of this, Tori sank into a depression and alopecia robbed her of happiness.  Her hair continued to fall out in handfuls and within a couple months it was completely gone.  It was a trying time for everyone in the family.   Tori’s grades suffered because she didn’t want to be at school.  She didn’t want to do the usual activities that before would make her smile. We were all angry and sad and trying to understand why a healthy, young girl with so much going for her was being tested with this disease.

The best advice she was given was to contact an organization to help get her a cranial prosthesis.  I had searched long and hard for information and resources, which organizations are out there, where to turn next.  I came across the Wigs For Kids website and searched for salons nearby that are recommended by them.  Wendy at Cheveux Design in Normandy Park was the closest to us.  I nervously dialed her number and was put right at ease.  Wendy was reassuring and knowledgeable.  She was friendly and kind.  She helped me navigate the road to getting an acceptance for Tori at Wigs For Kids.org

As soon as Tori received her acceptance package, Wendy met with us for measurements and hair selection.  She made this heartbreaking situation a lot easier.  That afternoon Tori dropped her measurement package back in the mail and the long wait began.

We continued to work on Tori’s mental health and had several really tough conversations.  Lots of tears were shed by each of us.  It took months of work but Tori was coming to terms with her new reality.

Bandanas were the norm.  Her friends and fellow cheer squad members were instrumental in this.  The cheer squad even made caps part of the uniform!

Then… finally, the day arrived!  A big box with a beautiful hairpiece and all the necessary items to maintain it came!  I think Wendy was just as excited as we were!  We met Wendy with box in hand.  She spent a couple hours with Tori explaining and showing her how to make this new look work.

I will never forget that smile!  When Tori first put on her hairpiece her happy returned.  There was that smile that had been lost for so many months.  Tori now has a spring in her step again.  She is eager to keep going now with activities and… life!

It has been such a whirlwind year, one I want never to repeat.  We know though that there are amazing people that have been there and can help.  We know that we are not alone.  We are thankful for each of them, more than they will ever know.  We are thankful for Wigs For Kids and the people that donated the beautiful hair that is now being worn by Tori.  We are beyond blessed to know Wendy and we are fortunate to have been able to benefit from her expertise.    Wigs For Kids made the wig but Wendy made it come to life!

Looking at Tori today, one would never know what she’s been through. We’re  trying now to get used to that plastic mannequin  head that stares at us throughout the day, the one that holds the hairpiece at night.  I think we are all getting better…all of us except the dog!  She’s kind of freaked out still!!  What a journey….looking forward to this next chapter!  Less eventful maybe!?”

Tori’s Mom kindly shared her hair loss story.

I feel honored to have been able to help her through the process.

Rock on, Tori!!!