Bald is beautiful.

By: Jessica Bonardi

V Teamer Lisa Hamilton shares her daughter's journey with Alopecia.

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On today’s episode of Up To Speed, we meet Lisa Hamilton, an Accounts Payable Supervisor based in Tulsa, OK.

Lisa shared some background on her two children, Alex and Hannah, and noted how being their mother has been the most fulfilling experience.

She described Hannah as an extremely studious and selfless individual. “Hannah was always the one who friended the kid that somebody wasn’t talking to at the playground,” Lisa said.

At the age of 14, Hannah began to notice that she was losing clumps of hair. Doctors diagnosed her with Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disorder which attacks hair follicles. Hannah has the worst level of the disease resulting in a complete loss of body hair.

Lisa says it’s been a difficult journey, and she’s felt helpless many times knowing there’s nothing she can do to help her.

In October of 2021, Hannah decided to craft a post on social media to share her honest truth.

“I was the most proud that I could ever be as a mom – for a young woman that would stand up and say this is who I am, accept me or not,” said Lisa.

Lisa says she’s grateful for Verizon’s extensive benefits package that has helped her and her family in a plethora of ways from counseling services to medication. “I’m proud to work for a company that cares about people,” Lisa said.

Hannah shared a firsthand account of her experience living with Alopecia Areata:

Hannah in her own words:

Everyone always says "it's just hair" until they don't have it anymore. It's human nature to start jumping to conclusions as to why I am bald. Is it an eccentric choice? Is it cancer? Oh, poor thing? I have been coping with this condition for almost a decade, through high school and college. In nine out of ten scenarios where someone approaches me out of concern or curiosity, they don't even know Alopecia exists. Echoing sighs of relief after I explain the condition, while understandable, exemplify the need for Alopecia awareness. "It's not cancer" is not enough information to dismiss the medical journey of autoimmune disease. Alopecia is a strenuous condition in its own right. There is no cure and most treatments only offer temporary solutions.

Having gone through the full spectrum of Alopecia, it has truly reshaped my perspective of the world and myself. Whether I like it or not, my baldness is the first thing everyone notices about me now. Every once and a while, I do a double take in the mirror myself. It's okay to be curious, but I think Alopecia Awareness Month is the perfect time to acknowledge that appearance does not define a person. Appearance can only tell you a fraction of a person's story, and we should be asking for the full story from the mind behind the bald.

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