Liz Shiel’s Story (Founder)

My name is Liz Shiel, I live in Athlone and I am 47 years old. Four years ago I founded Alopecia Support Ireland. In 1998 I started getting small round bald patches all over my head I received various amounts of different treatments but to no avail.  In January 2000 all my hair finally fell out, by March 2000 I had no body hair left.

This condition is called Alopecia Universalis.  I have a strong personality and I truly believe that because of this I am able to cope in dealing with Alopecia.  In the last three years I have started wearing wigs and now even find it fun changing hairstyles, although I can empathize with anyone who finds’s it difficult to deal with this condition as I did all those years ago.  For this reason, I decided to found a website, helpline and support group dedicated to anyone who might suffer or is in contact with someone who suffers from Alopecia.

Suffering from this condition is a very personal thing obviously externally but just as serious internally.  Facing people every day when your hair first starts to fall out is very difficult and equally as difficult to admit.  I am hoping with the anonymity of the support line and website that sufferers will feel free and safe to express their feelings. I am hopeful that I will be successful in setting up some support groups throughout the Country and raising awareness of this awful emotional and physical and widely misunderstood condition.