Kath's Story

"On 31st August, I jumped out of a plane from 2.5miles up in the air at 120 mph. But that wasn't the biggest thing for me. I did the jump “au natural” – with no hair on my head, no makeup or eyelashes, just a helmet and goggles (well, and some clothes of course, including the official Alopecia UK t-shirt!).

Since 11 years old (except for two years at 16) I have been completely bald, relying on my wonderful wigs, makeup and eyelashes to transform me daily into the person I present to the world. I felt it was time I tackled my biggest fear and show anybody who came to watch my jump (or see the pictures later) what the “real me” looks like. The sky dive was the easy bit!

The skydive was the best experience ever (apart from the "obvious" giving birth, getting married...!). I had some wonderful friends and family with me - thank you to them all for making this not only easy, but actually a fabulously fun experience. The sky dive bit was, as expected, brilliant for me - being a speed junkie (although free falling out of a plane at 120mph for almost a minute was something I'll never forget!). Going bald in public and for photos, not so easy!! But i'm glad I did it. After 36 years with no hair, I realise I am glad I don't. It defines the person I am today and definitely makes me stronger. 

There is no known cure for Alopecia but the £2,580.00 I have raised for Alopecia UK with my skydive will help the charity learn more through supporting research projects, and provide support for all those children and adults affected by this. While of course this disease is not life threatening, I believe the physical impact of Alopecia is far outweighed by the mental anguish it can bring. I'm hoping my fundraising will help others, especially young girls and teenagers with this condition, to be able to make the best of themselves with practical tips plus a general belief that this doesn’t have to set them back. Hunting for rare pictures of me as a teenager reminded me how low I felt a lot of the time and how I allowed other people's reactions make me feel sad. If I have any regrets, it's that I didn't take control of that sooner and deal with it!

I'd like to thank everyone who sponsored me, it means so much to me. I see this as a start of a time where I have more confidence and a new stage of hopefully helping others in a similar position. As per the famous FDR quote, “The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”.

Be proud of what makes you different, do the best you can to feel good and don't spend your life feeling second best.

PS Having no hair means good skin (not sure why!), no hairy legs every summer, fabulous long hair every day (I ♥ Joan Collins) … lucky me!"

A HUGE thank you to Kath for raising such an incredible amount for Alopecia UK with her skydive and to other fabulous folks who have taken the plunge for the charity this year! We're very grateful!