Hi my name is Tony. I have suffered with Alopecia Areata now since 2002. I always had a fine head of hair but just before my 30th birthday a small round circle (about the size of a 1 pence piece) of hair loss appeared on my hair-line. From there the process of losing all of my hair was very rapid (approx 6 months from start to finish). The patches on my head became bigger and bigger and despite trying to hide them I made the tough decision to shave my head totally in the hopes of avoiding further embarrassment. My eyebrows also dropped out over time and at some points during the process appeared like deconstructed bridges. My eyelashes also dropped out and let me tell you, if anyone has tried playing sport in the hot sunshines with sweat dropping into your eyes, its only then that you find out what eyelashes are for. There are also the knock on effects, sometimes you wake up in the morning look in the mirror and don't recognise yourself. Others don't recognise you. The human race by its very nature also tends to be judgemental.

Alopecia simply means hair loss. There are many different types and strains which affect women, children and men alike. Virtually nothing is known about what causes the condition. There are 'surface fixes' available but ultimately (as yet) no cure. September is Alopecia Awareness month.

Alopecia UK is a charity that provide support to suffers in times of despair, help to drive awareness of the condition and provide research in the hope that a cure can be found To mark its 15th year in operation myself and other Alopecia Champions are helping to raise awareness and hopefully some cash too in order to continue to fund the great work that Alopecia UK do.

#AUK15for15 Tony Fitzgerald