When nine-year-old schoolgjrl, Jenna Gathercole, started to become the victim of bullying because of her hair loss, she fought back in the smartest way.
Nine-year-old Jenna, a fourth grader at Viera Charter School in Florida, had become used to having fun made of her. But an incident with a bully who called her a boy struck a chord, and this determined young lady decided to do something about it. “I wanted to let people know what was going on and it’s not my fault and there’s something that they should know about.”
So, during a lunch break at school, Jenna produced a PowerPoint presentation with the aim of doing just that. She had originally been diagnosed at the tender age of just three. Her parents were understandably distraught and searched for something that might help with their daughter’s condition. Eventually, after years of trying and five different approaches involving painful scalp injections, they decided to accept the inevitable. They sat Jenna down and explained that the condition was for life and that they should all learn to accept it and move on. As her Mum said “What we’ve tried to do instead is just teach her, this is who you are and you’re going to have it for your whole life and it’s OK.”
Brave Jenna presented her PowerPoint to the entire school as she led an assembly to tell them all about her hair loss. The reaction was wholly positive, triggering a wider discussion on bullying in general and leading to the decision for them to take an anti-bullying pledge.
It would seem that the notable change in Jenna’s life has been the substitution of bullying for people who want to ask more questions… Is there a cure? Will she go completely bald? What causes an autoimmune condition?
HIS Hair Clinic
Alopecia in young children can be particularly distressing, it was great to see Jenna’s story and the wonderful way she is handling herself. Kids can be cruel, but kids can be educated to better understand how their behavior affects others.
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