Niamh Allison contacted us last year with an idea to organise a team cycle with her colleagues to raise funds and awareness for Alopecia UK. Niamh explains...

"I used to get the odd patch from the age of 22 which always grew back in again, at that point I didn’t realise it was Alopecia Areata. I was never diagnosed and didn’t investigate further as the patches always grew back.  In June 2015 (aged 39) I started to lose my hair again but this time it kept falling out until it fell out completely to full Alopecia Universalis by March 2016. 

It was a very traumatic experience, as I’m sure it is for most who suffer, as it took so long to completely fall out, but I got through it with the love and support of my family, friends and my work colleagues at Western Digital.

My colleagues have been great and were only too happy to support me in a fundraising endeavour. A fundraising cycling event was planned! (Niamh pictured on the far left in the group pic to the right of page)

It was an early start on Sunday 2nd of September 2018 in the Scottish borders town of Peebles for the start of the 74 mile cycle event 'Tour of the Borders'. Sadly, one of our team had to pull out at the last minute despite training for the event, however, Kevin’s partner Julie stepped up to the plate which saw a team of 5 proudly sport WD branded cycling tops on the start line.

The weather was typically Scottish – dreich! (wet and windy) , but despite the conditions, the team started and finished together in a very respectable 4 hours and 45 minutes (punctuated with many refuel stops for the unconventional sports nutrient, but yet surprisingly effective Macaroni Pie – a great Scottish invention!)

There is no sign of my hair growing back now but I feel I’m more accepting of the situation now and I’m happy and enjoying life to the fullest! It's been so wonderful to have such amazing support from my colleagues". 

A huge thank you to Niamh Allison for championing our charity with Western Digital and ensuring Alopecia UK was the chosen beneficiary for a $5,000 donation from the company (thank you Western Digital!). 

And congratulations to team members Michael Fong, Neil Dunlop, Phil Royall, Kevin Kealy and Julie Kealy. Special thanks to Niamh Allison for putting Alopecia UK forward and to Neil Darragh who trained hard but had to pull out due to injury). 

We even got our double Olympic Champion cyclist, Joanna Rowsell Shand MBE, to pose for this pic to help celebrate! (Thanks Jo!)