Mom with alopecia stays positive; inspires others through blog
A Sylvania mom is sharing her brave journey about living with an autoimmune disease that has left her without hair, in hopes of inspiring others.
"As a woman your hair is you and it defines who you are," McKenna Reitz said. "My hair was my everything."
Shortly after giving birth to her youngest daughter, what Reitz thought was post-partum hair loss turned out to be alopecia which is an autoimmune disease that causes sudden and often unpredictable hair loss.
"I would just stand there in the shower with my hands full of hair and just start bawling," Reitz said.
Reitz is a teacher and volleyball coach at Springfield High School.
"I decided to be open and honest with my students because they are going to be seeing the physical transformation," said Reitz.
The mom of two went through agonizing lengths to get her hair back, from using steroids to injections in her scalp.
"It was two minutes of hell," said Reitz. "It was excruciating pain. The needles just go into your scalp over and over again."
She soon realized her desperate efforts weren't working and made the decision to shave her head.
"I called up my hair dresser and said I needed to shave my head," Reitz said. "He turned the chair, and I saw myself for the first time bald and I just lost it."
"She can wear a wig, not wear a wig, it doesn't impact anything," said her husband Greg Reitz. "I signed up for the long haul, not just what she looked like at that time."
With support from her family, Reitz is now sharing her journey of acceptance through her blog which is getting national attention.
"It has allowed me to embrace it, grow from it and hopefully empower other people," said Reitz.
McKenna is also working with the Toledo Mud Hens to host another Alopecia awareness night at Fifth Third Field in August.
From more information on McKenna and her blog visit: http://www.mckennareitz.com/