Penn Township woman to raise funds, awareness of hair-loss disease
Many a bride-to-be has come close to pulling out her hair in frustration over wedding details.
Penn Township native Amanda Shannon wonders if she will lose hers to disease.
"June 17 is my wedding. I have to think about if I'll have hair or not. That's not something most people have to think about," said the 25-year-old.
Shannon developed alopecia areata -- an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss -- nearly four years ago.
On Sunday, she will hold a "Tortoise and Hair" 5K run/walk in Pittsburgh's Schenley Park in Oakland-Squirrel Hill to raise money for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.
She was inspired to bring a Tortoise and Hair event to Pittsburgh by her love for running.
"Running has always been a constant in my life. I know that no matter what happens, I'll always have running," Shannon said. "What better way to benefit alopecia then to do something I love?"
Alopecia areata is the most common autoimmune disease in the United States. Although it affects 4.7 million in the nation, most people never heard of the disease, she said.
She said she hopes the event will raise awareness of alopecia areata and let people know that they are not the only ones dealing with the disease.
One troublesome disease
There are no known cures for alopecia. Several treatments, though, are available, including laser treatment.
The Laser Hair and Skin center in Monroeville will donate gift certificates to participants affected by the disease.
A substitute teacher, Shannon said she sometimes has a hard time dealing with alopecia areata.
"It's tough. Kids and parents ask questions," she said. "I try not to let it bring me down. It's hard, though."
Shannon said the worst part of the disease is the fear that she will pass it on to her future children.
"That would be so hard, to watch someone else deal with it -- especially a child," she said.
Shannon said the best part of working with Tortoise and Hair is meeting others with Alopecia areata and seeing how they deal with the condition.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.