Veteran broadcaster and face of Channel 4 News Jon Snow has become a patron of a charity that helps to support people who have lost their hair through alopecia.
Jon, whose mother lost her hair to the condition at the age of 13, has agreed to support Alopecia UK, a charity which aims to raise awareness of the condition, which can affect men, women and children of any age and lead to partial or total hair loss.
Alopecia affects nearly two per cent of the population, but little is known about the exact causes of it. Although it is not damaging to physical health, alopecia can have destructive effects on a personís confidence and self-esteem and there is currently no known cure.
Jackie McKillop, from Alopecia UK, said: ďWeíre very grateful to Jon for agreeing to join us as a patron. Alopecia affects thousands of people of all ages Ė many of whom keep their condition a secret from their family and closest friends. Iím sure that Jonís support to the charity will help to raise awareness of this often taboo subject.Ē
Jon said: ďMy Mum lost her hair in about three days when she was 13 years old. She had been sitting a music exam for entry to the Royal College of Music. It was a searing experience Ė her parents could not afford a wig and until the age of 17 she wore a bonnet. I donít think she ever properly came to terms with her complete loss of hair.
ďAs a child I was not told about it until I was eight years old. I had never been allowed to clamber about on her, or cuddle her, for fear I would pull the wig off. I didnít have a clue and the revelation was a terrible shock. It was rarely spoken about, but in my teens my mother began to trust me enough to ask me where her wig looked alright or needed repowdering.
ďI have no doubt that times and attitudes have changed vastly today. Iím happy to become a patron of Alopecia UK because I would never want anyone to go through what she or we her children went though. Iím also interested in whatever research is being done about causation and potential cures.Ē