Kathryn Robson, 22, of Calgary, was born with a full head of hair; however, at age 13 she began losing her hair in large patches.
Robson’s mother Kim Weegar, began taking her to doctor appointments to determine the cause of her hair loss.
Doctors diagnosed the hair loss with a disease called Alopecia, they offered a steroid treatment, which involved over 100 needles to be put in Robson’s head.
Weegar decided to decline the treatment as she did not like the fact of more medical drugs to be in her daughter’s system; Robson was already on medication for her Underactive Thyroid disease.
By age 14 Robson had completely lost all her hair and began wearing wigs.
“I got bullied a lot,” said Robson. “I remember in jr. high this girl chased me down the hall yelling at me, ‘Why do you wear a wig, why do you wear a wig’.”
To this day Robson says being bullied throughout grade school years has left her with a low self-esteem and traumatized.
Robson became picky about her friends; she would often be by herself throughout the school days.
In high school Robson experienced intense bullying that resulted in her not going to class anymore.
Her grades began to drop which resulted in having to repeat the 10th grade.
Robson spoke with her mom about transferring high schools in hopes to end bullying and have a fresh start.
“I was not excited to start my new high school. I didn’t like that I had to switch schools and didn’t know anyone,” Said Robson.
Robson learned that transferring high schools was beneficial because the new school was more accepting to individuality and she was able to express herself.
“Nobody knew about my hair which made for a promising year at a new school,” said Robson.
Robson did have one friend at her new school that she had known since elementary.
Vanessa Ross and Robson had a strong friendship with normal ups and downs.
One year they would be friends and another year they wouldn’t be.
“sometimes we would go months or a year and not talk but whenever we would get together it would be like nothing changed,” said Ross.
Ross says she had always known about Robson’s Alopecia but it didn’t affect their friendship because it’s what made Robson unique.
Today Robson is now losing her eyebrows and eyelashes.
One eye has absolutely no lashes left; however, her head has small “fuzzies” growing.
“I am okay with losing my eyebrows and lashes if it means I get my hair back,” said Robson.
Robson has a small collection of wigs which helps her to express herself in ways she couldn’t before.
Although she still has a low amount of self-esteem she is not ashamed of her hair loss.
Robson gets tired of the itchiness, tightness, and looking nice for people, so she sometimes goes out without hair on.
People stare but don’t verbally question why she has no hair.
“Children stare a lot and it gets annoying, but I deal with it because it’s part of me and I can’t change it,” said Robson.
Written by Courtney Lovgren for The SAIT Press.