As I’ve been following coverage of the upcoming London 2012 Olympics, I recently came across an inspiring story that I’d love to share with you all.
Joanna Rowsell is a 23-year-old World Cup gold medalist cyclist and a member of Great Britain’s cycling team headed to the London 2012 Olympics. She is also a long time sufferer of alopecia areata.
Alopecia areata is a condition that causes the body to attack its own hair follicles, causing patches of hair loss or total hair loss.
Rowsell lost all of her hair by age 11. She said that, “Losing my hair was incredibly upsetting – I struggled massively, especially as a teenager.”
After donning a wig for the first time, she says she “loved it. I chose a long black curly wig. Now I have three, including a long blonde one. It is fun to experiment.” Rowsell does an incredible job of turning what seems like a hardship into an advantage. Not only does she appreciate the ability to change up her look with her wigs for alopecia, but she is also motivated by her disorder, pushing herself even harder to be the best that she can be.
Rowsell is an inspiration to women and girls everywhere who suffer from any type of disorder that causes hair loss. Whether it be alopecia, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, trichotillomania, or another type of hair loss, a woman should not be defined or confined by her lack of hair.
At the London Olympics Joanna won Gold!