Trinity Baker, 8, began attending Pea Ridge ball games to see Alison Hiett, a Blackhawk cheerleader.
She, like Alison, has no hair as a result of Alopecia Areata.
Trinity, the daughter of James and Kristina Baker of Bella Vista, started loosing her hair in 2014.
"It started with a little spot in the back of her head," Kristina said. "Her grandmother noticed it and it just kept growing and growing. It took about six months or so and pretty much all of it was gone."
Kristina said they went to numerous doctors and finally to a dermatologist in Columbia, Mo., who was one of the best dermatologists in the state. "We'd never heard of Alopecia," she said. "She didn't want to loose her hair. She didn't say a whole lot about it, but she was scared."
"She still talks about wanting hair," Kristina said. They've bought wigs, but Trinity doesn't like the way they feel. She said Trinity is now shy because so many adults ask her questions including whether she has cancer.
She said she learned about Alison through a teacher at Trinity's school, Cooper Elementary.
There is not a local support group that either the Hietts or Bakers have found, although Kristina said she found one in St. Louis and one in Kansas City.
She laughed and said her daughter will say that her dad has alopecia, but he actually has male pattern baldness.
"I've learned to let Trinity decide what she wants," Kristina said about how to address the hair loss. "Shave her head, wear a wig ... let them lead the way."
Of Trinity, Alison's mother, Chasity said: "Lee and I spotted that little bald-headed girl at a ball game. I wondered whether to say anything and realized there was a chance she was sick. People have assumed that about Alison. I finally said something."
"We're about four and a half years into this," Chasity said.
Then, tearing up, she said: "I feel like if she hadn't lost her hair, maybe she would have gotten lost in all the pretty girls and people wouldn't have seen how amazing she really is.
"She's amazing and this just allows people to see it. She may have been looked over before because she would have been another pretty face with pretty hair," Chasity said.
"I kind of agree," Alison said. "I'm meeting new people all the time. I'm more likely to be remembered," she laughed.
Editor's note: This article is the last in a three-part series.Community on 11/06/2019
Print Headline: Lack of hair makes her memorable, she says