MOVING to a new country can be full of challenges.
But imagine if, just four months after arriving, auto-immune condition Alopecia causes all of your hair to fall out in a matter of days.
That was the scenario facing 20-year-old Chelsie Johnson, who moved from Wiltshire in England to join her family in Bendigo in November last year.
On March 6, a small batch of hair fell out. Then two weeks later, the remainder fell out.
The Johnson family moved to Bendigo in 2016 and have become heavily involved in Colts United Soccer Club at Strathfieldsaye. Chelsie is taking part in preseason, and her sister played in the women’s team last year, which her father coaches.
So club members decided to give something back, and planned a surprise fundraiser for the family to help them purchase a specialised wig from Melbourne.
On Sunday night, about 10 people at Colts shaved their heads – and some shaved their chests – and raised more than $1000.
Chelsie’s mother Bec Johnson said it was an amazing gesture by the club.
“We never expected anything like that,” she said.
“The way they went about it and did it – we were just so overwhelmed. We have been embraced by this club and are overwhelmed by such generosity and compassion.
“The soccer club is like a big family.”
Alopecia develops when the body attacks its own hair follicles, and is believed to be heredity.
The fundraiser was organised by Daniel Purdy and Bec Berry.