A LOCAL Brechin teen who suffers from alopecia has shaved her hair off to help raise money for children fighting cancer.
Caitlin Bishop (13) has suffered from alopecia since she was just eight years old.
Alopecia affects approximately 1.7 per cent of the population and both men and women are equally affected.
The exact cause of alopecia isn’t known, although it’s generally agreed it’s a disease of the immune system.
In alopecia, your immune system attacks the affected hair follicles by mistake. This halts hair growth (the anagen stage) and causes a move to resting (the telogen phase) where the hairs are then abruptly shed.
Famous sufferers of alopecia include television presenter Gail Porter and cyclist Joanna Roswell, who won gold at the London 2012 Olympics.
As a result of her condition, Caitlin has completely lost all of her on several occasions.
Her mum, Tracy, said: “She has been asked more than once by curious children if she has cancer due to her lack of hair.”
This year, Caitlin managed to keep all of her hair, with it growing back in to a pretty pixie style. However, because of the curious questions she has had previously, Caitlin decided to be extremely selfless and opted to shave her head for charity, with the money she raised going to Cancer Research in order to help children who really do have cancer.
Tracy explained: “She allowed Niomi from Eclipse in Brechin to shave all her hair off. So far she has collected over £300 in sponsorship money.
“We are all very proud of her.”
Caitlin, who is in her second year at Brechin High School, received a great deal of support throughout the school during her fund-raising, and has said that her teachers were brilliant.
She was even granted special privileges to allow her to wear something warm on her head after she had had her head shaved.