Wigan schoolboy sets out to help other teens after alopecia diagnosis
A schoolboy whose confidence has been shattered by alopecia is on a mission to help other children in a similar position.
Alfie Ward, 10, started experiencing hair loss at the start of the pandemic last year. What began as small clumps falling out quickly turned into full hair loss, and the cause has evaded doctors to this day.
The St Aidan’s RC Primary School pupil is months away from starting secondary school, and mum Lisa said that the alopecia has left his confidence at a low point ahead of the big change.
Alfie and his family have therefore started a fund-raising campaign, not only to help fund a custom-made wig for himself, but to help other children going through similar circumstances.
Lisa, from Highfield, said: “It was at the very beginning of the pandemic when it started, with little patches of hair coming away. He had blood tests done and spoke to doctors, who said it would probably go back and all would be okay.
“As the months have gone on, he’s lost more and more hair. Now it’s completely gone. He also lost his eyelashes, his eyebrows, his arm hair, everything.
“He has struggled, confidence-wise. It has changed him a lot. As a little boy, his favourite feature was his hair. He always had it gelled and everyone used to say ‘look at your hair’.
“Now it’s gone, it’s had a massive impact on his life. He wears a hat everywhere he goes now and is paranoid about people commenting on it.
“It’s knocked him down really bad, and we think the stress of the Coronavirus pandemic has had a big impact as well.”
Alfie’s family began researching customised wigs to help him gain his confidence back, but were staggered by the cost.
“We are looking at £1,500, every six months,” said Lisa.
“These are very expensive, and it is something that will need upgrading or replacing as he grows.”
“They look just like real hair. He loves sports and has been playing football for years. If we were to just buy a cheap wig, it’s not going to last, and he couldn’t wear it during contact sports.
“There’s not really a lot of awareness about children alopecia, but there’s a lot of children going through it. Alfie wanted to raise money, not just for him, but for other children too.”
Lisa added: “We mentioned our idea to Alfie and asked his permission if we could do this, as it would mean using his photos and highlighting what he has gone through.
“Alfie’s first thought was that, if we can help him, we may be able to raise enough money to help other little boys in the same position as him.
“He said if he could help another boy that would make him feel really happy inside.”
Alfie recently met Latics defender Adam Long, who helped raise a smile by giving him a signed football and a pair of boots.
To donate to the fund-raiser, visit www.gofundme.com/f/help-alfie-be-alfie-again.
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