I'm Harry Brunt and I became a Trustee of Alopecia UK in 2016.
How did I get involved with Alopecia UK?
In January 2014 I committed to a month long ‘Dryathlon’ to raise money for Alopecia UK – a challenging but rewarding experience! I kept in touch with the Alopecia UK team and after I started asking more questions about how I could help further it didn’t take long before I was being propositioned and encouraged to become a trustee. Jen and Amy’s infectious enthusiasm for the charity made the offer impossible to turn down!
What is my alopecia story?
I was 18 when the first bald patches appeared on the back of my head. For about 8 years they came and went with varying degrees of severity. Despite trying various treatments, at the age of 26 the disease progressed much more rapidly and within 12 months I had lost virtually all the hair on my head. After shaving what was left of my hair, I decided to try and do something positive and raise money for Alopecia UK. From a personal point of view the fund raising helped me enormously - the act of advertising my ‘condition’ and asking for financial support from friends and family also translated into overwhelming emotional support as well. I have now very much come to terms with having no hair, but would like to do what I can to help others who are unfortunate enough to be on the same journey as me.
What are my hopes for Alopecia UK?
My hope is that one day Alopecia UK may no longer need to exist. This may sound odd, but bear with me…. Alopecia is not a particularly high priority in medical research. It is (wrongly) considered to be purely an aesthetic condition and affects a smaller proportion of the population than some more harmful diseases. It is poorly understood and existing treatments are so hit and miss that the medical community are not certain any of them are genuinely effective. I would like Alopecia UK to be in a position to support and encourage the long term fundamental medical research required to develop an effective treatment or cure for future generations.
With this ambitious long-term goal in mind, I want to help grow a financially sustainable charity that can continue to provide a vital network of support for people affected by the disease in the present. I know all too well the devastating psychological impact of the condition and want us to do all we can to improve the quality of life for those affected.