POSTED: Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 9:34am
UPDATED: Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 7:25pm
12-year-old lives with a condition that leaves her without a single hair on her entire body.
Maddie Woytovich has grown up with alopecia, a condition that leaves her without a single hair on her entire body. Thanks to a positive attitude and with supportive friends and family, the 12-year-old doesn't let her condition faze her.
She's popular, confident, and 100% sure of herself. It's not exactly how Maddie Woytovich's parents pictured things would turn out.
When she was 5, the Wyomissing 7th grader was diagnosed with a severe form of the auto-immune disease alopecia which left her without a single hair on her entire body.
A frightening thing for a girl about to face the social pressures of a new school, new friends, and eventually life as a teenager.
Father Jeff Woytovich says "it was definitely heartbreaking. Every negative thought went through my head...being bullied, teased, not wanting to participate in sports. Even going as far as she's never gonna fall in love because whose gonna fall in love with someone with no hair."
Mother Betsy Woytovich says "I took her right to Target and I thought I needed to cover it up, get her bandannas in every color. I didn't want to look at it. I didn't want to deal with it."
Maddie could have dove into a life of shyness and intimidation, but instead she ditched the bandannas, held her beautiful bald head high and now at 12 is bold, brave never picked on or bullied.
Maddie Woytovich says "I was worried I'd be treated differently and they would not be friends with me because they're embarrassed but it seems like they just like me for who I am."
Devon is Maddie's best friend and says not one kid in the entire school treats maddie any differently.
Friend Devon Martin says "we all like to do the same things. We don't notice she doesn't have hair."
Maddie says "everyone needs good friends to make them happy and I wish everyone had that because I'm happy and blessed that I have friends like this."
And that's exactly what Maddie and her parents continue to accomplish with the Children's Alopecia Project, or CAP, to show other kids with Alopecia that a diagnosis doesn't have to mean a lonely childhood.
Maddie says "follow your goals. We're all the same, just with different features."
Maddie admits its not always easy.
Maddie says "like when going dancing I feel like I wish I could do my hair but I feel like I can do it more with accessories and earrings."
She has no regrets, plays basketball, and dreams of being a fashion designer. A dream that may very well come true because she's refused to let her disease outshine who she is.