If we are talking about positives that go with alopecia, it’s meeting some of the most amazing people world wide via social media. The Hayes Family are some of those people. Mum Ashley, Dad Zach and daughter Malia, come from America and make YouTube videos primarily to promote alopecia awareness because their beautiful daughter has alopecia. I have loved watching their videos (partly because they are also Disney super fans and that makes me happy) and admire the way they are so open and honest about how alopecia affects their family from a parents point of view and from a child’s perspective.
So, I reached out to them and asked if they’d like to guest blog about their experiences and they said yes! So here you go, a guest blog post from the amazing Hayes family. Please go follow them on their social media and subscribe to their YouTube channel:
YouTube: @hayesfamilyvlog Instagram: @hayesfamilyvlog
Our Beautiful Alopecia Princess
If we could only choose one word to describe our daughter it would be “incredible”. In November of 2016 our daughter Malia was officially diagnosed with Alopecia Areata. However, she has had it since she was a year and half old.
It all began very slowly. At the age of 2 her hair had completely fallen out; her eyebrows were completely gone and then her eyelashes fell out. This gave us major concern as to our child’s health so as parents due, we took her to a dermatologist. They told us not to worry and that hair loss at Malia’s young age is normal but that it could be Alopecia. She suggested that we continue to watch her hair growth and that if it continued, to come back for another checkup.
Within a year of this appointment Malia grew patches of black and white hair that would inevitably fall out. This cycle happened often. We would get stares and even be approached by strangers asking if Malia had cancer or how her chemotherapy was going. When we would tell them that she was not sick the next question was, well what’s wrong with her and sadly we did not have an answer. So right before Malia’s 4th birthday we scheduled a checkup appointment and behold she was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata.
It’s funny how badly you want an answer to something and when you get it, it’s not what you want to hear. I’d be lying if I told you I was not sad and upset. I was and so was my husband. As her mother the first thing that went through my mind was, what did I do or not do properly while I was pregnant? I put so much blame on myself and cried for a week. We realized that being upset about it doesn’t change anything nor help the situation so we decided to face this head on and learn everything that we possibly could. And you know what? It helped! So we began to look for support groups and basically anyone else who has Alopecia that we could reach out to.
As a family we watch a lot of YouTube. Fail videos, family vloggers, Disney vloggers, theme park vloggers and basically anything funny. So we decided to see if there was a family on YouTube who had a family member with Alopecia. The search came up with zero results. We found a lot of adults with Alopecia which is lovely but no children for Malia to relate to. So that day we decided that maybe we could help other families and children who have Alopecia by making fun family vlogs! We figured if we could inspire someone with Alopecia to live their life openly and freely then maybe we could make a difference in brining awareness and acceptance. And you know what, IT WORKED! We have been introduced to so many wonderful people with and without Alopecia who are not only kind but are wanting to help spread the awareness.
In the end, as Malia’s parents we try our absolute best every single day to build the confidence she possesses. She is the most beautiful person inside and out, we could not be prouder.