With an affinity for travel and a love of Latin America, Skylar has dreamed of a motorcycle trip from the USA to Argentina for years. But he wanted the trip to be bigger than himself. To have a greater purpose. Riding a motorcycle a few thousand miles across continents is one thing, but changing lives along the way—that’s the real goal.
Having lost all of his hair as a teen, Skylar was introduced to life with Alopecia and exposed to the first-hand emotional tolls Alopecia has on people—especially women, children, and young adults. So he did some research on Alopecia in Latin America… and found nothing in the way of support. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease affecting all races and sexes around the world—yet support and awareness efforts are isolated to a few first-world countries. Adventures for Alopecia aims to change that, and we’re starting in Central and South America. We’re working with the few support groups that exist (and forming new ones where needed) throughout Latin America to sponsor sustainable support events. We’re educating the international public about Alopecia, and we’re supporting Alopecia treatment research.
After this inaugural adventure for Alopecia, we will sponsor adventures for other people with Alopecia to regain their confidence and identity through adventure and travel. What started as a dream to explore and experience the various Latin American countries, has become more than that. Through these efforts, we hope to change the lives of people around the world living with Alopecia.
Alopecia Areata is a common autoimmune skin disease, that causes rapid, unpredictable hair loss on the scalp, face, and sometimes the entire body. With both genetic and environmental components to Alopecia, no one knows exactly what causes or triggers it. Over six million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with it, and an individual's lifetime risk of Alopecia is 2.1%.
People of all ages, sexes, and ethnic groups can develop Alopecia. It can first appear during childhood or adulthood, and though physically benign and not contagious, Alopecia can have devastating effects on one’s mental, emotional, and social wellbeing — especially for children, young adults, and women.
There are three types of Alopecia — each completely unpredictable, with the potential for hair to fall out or regrow at any time. Alopecia Areata is patchy hair loss on the scalp; Alopecia Totalis is the loss of all hair on the head; and Alopecia Universalis is loss of all hair on the body.
Men, women, and children with Alopecia should feel comfortable without their hair. Support plays a big part in helping people with Alopecia regain their confidence, maintain a positive outlook, and overcome this emotional pain caused by this condition.
Increased public acceptance and understanding starts with education. We need to educate the public about Alopecia.
People with Alopecia need a treatment option that isn’t detrimental to one’s health.
National Alopecia Areata Foundation's (NAAF) Treatment Development Program aims "to find a safe and effective treatment or cure for Alopecia Areata to benefit the 145 million people worldwide who have, had, or will develop Alopecia Areata in their lifetime." In an effort to advance Alopecia treatment, we will contribute 100% of your donation directly to NAAF if you mention NAAF in the Donation Notes of your donation.
Children's Alopecia Project (CAP) is specifically devoted to helping children living with all forms of Alopecia regain confidence. As part of our mission to support people living with Alopecia, we would like a portion of our funds raised to go towards supporting CAP's meaningful work, so we will contribute 100% of your donation directly to CAP if you mention CAP in the Donation Notes of your donation.
Having long, blonde hair all throughout his youth, Skylar was diagnosed with Alopecia when he was 16 after finding a dime-sized bald spot on the back of his head. Six months later, Skylar had become completely bald—a unique look for a sophomore in high school. That uncontrolled transition took a toll on Skylar's emotional well-being and self-confidence throughout high school. Over the past 9 years, Skylar has embraced his Alopecia and has learned to recognize it as an important part of his identity. He's also realized that many others like him are trying to overcome similar challenges. Now, Skylar is embarking on an adventure of a lifetime to demonstrate that Alopecia is not an inhibitor and to encourage other Alopecians to own their identity as well.
Since going completely bald at age 19 due to Alopecia Areata, Kate has rocked a multitude of hairstyles from bald to buzz to curly bob. From a childhood with long curly hair and a competitive Irish Dancing career with a wig wearing requirement, Kate learned early on about societal pressures around appearance. Her journey to accept a lack of control over her hair, her self-image, and how others view her is a work in progress, but a fulfilling one. Due to the variability of Alopecia Areata over time, there may come a day when Kate (and many others like her) loses her hair again. Whether she’s bald or auditioning for a Pantene commercial, she is ultimately stronger and more self-confident having experienced Alopecia and hopes that the support offered by AFA will propel others like her to live life to the max.