Gina and I met back when her daughter was about two years old. I was the phone contact person in the Capital Region for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. People would call and I would calm them down and recommend doctors they could see or just be an ear to listen. And tell them about National Conferences and information resources and invite them to a meeting.
Gina was a lovely young mom who through her tears old me of her daughter developing the disease, what they had done so far as far educating themselves etc. I listened for quite a while and then gave her some suggestions. I also offered to meet with her which we set up.
We got together and her daughter was adorable. She was toddling and was so sweet. We spent the morning chatting and getting to know each other and I think I was able to give her some ideas that would help her cope better with her daughters disease and that would help her daughter to grow up a happy little person.
I have known Gina and her family since that time. Her daughter is a well-adjusted college student who in her senior year in high school decided to stop wearing a hair prosthesis just because she wanted to and had the strength to know that she did not care what others thought or said about her. She owes that all to her mom and dad and grandparents and others who have always accepted her for being who she is as well at tremendous inner strength.
Gina had gone to her daughters schools from day one and did education and expectations about her daughter and the disease that was not going to get better. She sent letters to the parents of children in her daughters class to inform them of the condition her daughter had. I almost said suffered from but I don’t believe that she suffers. She has learned that she is not her disease so that she is able to lead a full life.
It was awe inspiring to watch how this family led by Gina raised this healthy happy child. I wish I could be strong and self-assured like that. Gina was always out in front of any situation and anything that came up she handled appropriately, such as teaching her daughter how to talk to others about her disease and Gina not over protecting her. A true role model for parents who have children with any type of disease.