Shaylah Giordimaina - better known as Shea- has joined the Australia Alopecia Areata Foundation as the Youth Ambassador. Shea has been living with Alopecia Areata since she was seven years old so is well equipped to discuss the highs or lows that can occur through the teenage and early adult hood years.
Shea remembers her first day of school as nerve racking. She walked into class and everyone was told to take their hats of. She did not think anything of it and heard a huge gasp from everyone in the class. She was a little shocked but the girl sitting next to her gave her a pat on the head and said “Your alright” and everyone started laughing.
Shea comments "Making friends was never a difficult task as my shiny little head was a brilliant conversation starter."
Shea has been dancing since she was two and today is a dance teacher. Shea has come up with creative ways to fit alopecia into her life. She uses a pair of brown stockings and wraps the legs around each other to create a bun! This way she can sew on all head pieces and not feel any different. Shea always encourages the girls and boys to be who they want to be and accepting of one another because everyone is different.
Shea's motto is to never let her appearance effect who she is; she uses it to her advantage. Humor is her secret weapon in dealing with alopecia. Sheas favourite thing about having alopecia would have to be getting kisses on her head. No one else can know unless you are a sufferer how accepted and loved it makes you feel.
The AAAF wants to commend Shea and help her to promote positive self images within our youth.
Australia Alopecia Areata Foundation
Australia Alopecia Areata Foundation (AAAF) objectives are to support research to find a cure or acceptable treatment for Alopecia Areata, provide emotional support to those with Alopecia and their families, inform the public and create awareness of Alopecia.
In providing a centralised medium for Australian alopecia support forums we aim to
- To promote positive image and respect for Alopecia Sufferers
- To provide strategies against bullying / name calling
- To provide opportunities for Alopecia Sufferers to have a voice and participate in their communities
- To increase community involvement and support for Alopecia sufferers
- To attend schools to inform parents and school communities on the disease
- To advocate on behalf of Alopecia Sufferers for equitable access to resources and services
- To seek funding support from Corporate’s, Community sponsorship and grant bodies