We need your help! The mission of CAP is to help all children with alopecia, and we will continue do everything in
our power to keep CAP Kids free at all camps and events. As we approach the end of 2023, charitable giving is at
an all-time low, and CAP, like many non-profits, is facing significant financial challenges that could compromise our
ability to continue providing free programs and camps for children with alopecia. Alopeciapalooza and all of CAP’s
programs are changing lives, and it won’t be the case without the continued support of donors like you!
Mimi Rivard first started bringing her son, Andre, to Alopeciapalooza in 2011. She had no idea at the time that the
Children’s Alopecia Project and Alopeciapalooza would have a lasting impact on Andre and his self esteem.
In her own words...
“When my son lost his hair at age 8 I felt pretty scared. I was very worried that he would be bullied and
have social struggles because of his appearance. Having a visible difference is pretty tough for a child. We
realized pretty quickly that the treatment we were using (topical steroid) was not working and Andre did not
want to continue or try anything else. I was relieved. It was at this point I began to scour the internet to see what
kind of support was available for kids with Alopecia. I remember looking at the CAP web page and all the
photos from a recent Alopeciapalooza. I quickly called the phone number and was able to speak with Jeff.
He explained the mission and goals of the Children’s Alopecia Project, offered me unconditional support and
listened while I described our circumstances. I immediately felt at ease.
When the time came for us to attend our first camp, my son was not excited at all. He had been wearing
hats consistently every time we left the house and in school as well. Thinking back, going to a camp with kids
who also have alopecia probably meant that HIS alopecia was not changing or going away. I’m not sure Andre
was ready to accept the permanence of his hair loss. When we arrived, Andre didn’t want to get out of the car.
I made a promise that if the camp wasn’t fun, we would leave. Within 15 minutes of exiting the car, Andre’s hat
was off and he was playing minigolf with a group of kids who also had alopecia. I was able to see my son feel
free and confident again! By the end of the camp, he was chosen to be on a kids panel, speaking in front of over
100 people. He talked openly about his experience with hair loss and how he had coped with the change. It was
nothing short of a life changing experience.
We’ve attended Alopeciapalooza annually since that first camp. The connections and friendships that our
family made through CAP are cherished and will be life long. There is something magical about meeting people
(adults and kids) who share your story. The camaraderie and mentorship from the older kids and celebrities
who come to camp makes the experience so special. We looked forward to attending every year for that little
boost of confidence before starting school.
The camps have had an immeasurable impact on Andre’s sense of self. The focus on self esteem (instead
of growing hair) is essential for our kids. As Andre has become a young man, he has had no desire to take
any treatment for alopecia. His self worth is not tied to his appearance. We cannot say that he would be this
confident and well adjusted without the help of CAP. Andre is now a college freshman and a division one
athlete at The Ohio State University, playing soccer. He hopes to continue to be a part of CAP for years to
come and participate in the camps as a mentor.”
The Children’s Alopecia Project understands the struggles and emotional toll that alopecia can have on children
and their families, and we are committed to maintaining these vital programs, including Alopeciapalooza, the CAP
Kid Library Program, CAP2U, and all CAP Kid camps, which allow children living with alopecia to connect, learn, and
gain confidence. Like many mothers of children with alopecia, Mimi is grateful to have found CAP when she did and
to have had the opportunity to bring Andre to Alopeciapalooza. She credits CAP for giving Andre the tools to be the
strong, confident, young adult that he is today.
Thank you for your support, which allows CAP to continue its purpose of growing self-esteem in CAP Kids, one child
at a time. Together, we are making a difference!