A Stitch Of Hope For Ava Rose

March 16th, 2011
A Stitch Of Hope For Ava Rose

The number of children who are taking it upon themselves to raise money is growing. The latest heart warming story is that of 12 year old Caitlin Johnson who decided to do something for her younger sister.

With her best friend Megan Duffy, Caitlin decided to raise money for research into the debilitating autoimmune disorder alopecia areata. They started on New Year’s Day by creating colourful scarves, and have even set up their own web site for their charitable project called A Stitch of Hope, to let the world know what they are doing.

Caitlin’s sister, Ava Rose was diagnosed with alopecia areata in 2008. This causes the body to lose all its hair. In Ava Rose’s case, she has already lost the hair on her head; and is now beginning to lose her eye lashes, eyebrows and any remaining body hair.

Alopecia areata affects different people in different ways, but essentially, loss of large amounts of hair is the end result. This can range from alopecia totalis, where all hair is lost, to alopecia universalis, where hair can grow back again.

According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) in the United States, around 4.7 million people suffer from alopecia areata. What’s more, it isn’t something anyone is born with.

According to Ava Rose’s mother, Julie Johnson, she was born with “…super wavy, crazy hair.”

As the disorder is not life threatening, Ava’s parents have not been able to insure their daughter’s condition, as treatment costs are high.  Julie told reporters: “It’s definitely life altering, but she’s not sick.”

However the costs of hairpieces can be prohibitively expensive – as much as $6,000. Consequently, once the diagnosis was made, Caitlin Johnson decided it was time to help her sister by raising money.

At the time of writing, Caitlin and Megan hope to have raised $100 by the end of February.

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