Search

How I embraced going bald - Fakenham woman on living with alopecia

PUBLISHED: 06:30 31 January 2018

Fakenham greengrocer Kim Starling chatting to Sheringham High School head boy Peter Awad about her experience of having Alopecia. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Fakenham greengrocer Kim Starling chatting to Sheringham High School head boy Peter Awad about her experience of having Alopecia. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Archant

An inspirational Fakenham woman has opened up about her experiences of living with alopecia.

Fakenham greengrocer Kim Starling (centre) accepting a cheque on behalf of Alopecia UK from (from left): Sheringham High School deputy head Jayne Melhuish, head boy Peter Awad, head girl Alice Alexander and Year 11 student Jodie Claxton. Photo: KAREN BETHELL Fakenham greengrocer Kim Starling (centre) accepting a cheque on behalf of Alopecia UK from (from left): Sheringham High School deputy head Jayne Melhuish, head boy Peter Awad, head girl Alice Alexander and Year 11 student Jodie Claxton. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Kim Starling spoke to students at Sheringham High School about the condition.

Ms Starling, who runs a greengrocers and florist in Swaffham, woke up one morning last year to find she had lost 30pc of her hair overnight.

Over the following month, she lost all her remaining hair, as well as her eyelashes and eyebrows.

“I will never forget the day it happened,” she explained. “It had been an incredibly busy time at work with a lot of stress, so I was really expecting to go to the doctor and to be told it was curable with treatment.”

But, after seeing a specialist, Ms Starling was diagnosed with alopecia universalis, a severe form of the condition characterised by complete loss of hair on the scalp and body.

“I was completely shocked for about 24 hours, but I just got on with things and it wasn’t until a bride who was completely bald came into the shop for a consultation that it was really brought home to me,” she said.

“It made me realise that I would be like that in a few weeks and, driving home, I was in floods of tears.”

However, Ms Starling’s distress was short-lived and after embracing her lack of hair, she began to see the positive side of being bald.

“I decided I was going to accept it was unlikely to grow back and make the most of it as there is nothing worse than the agony of hope – that’s what keeps you awake at night,” she explained.

“I don’t feel it’s the end of the world and although my customers were concerned as they thought I had cancer, people don’t pay quite as much attention as you think they do.”

Sheringham High School students raised nearly £2,000 for hair loss charity Alopecia UK.

School council members, who ran events ranging from a talent show and a teachers’ football tournament, to a lip synching battle and a ‘man versus food’ eating contest, presented a cheque to Ms Starling.

Ms Starling, who speaks to trainee doctors about her experiences as a member of an expert patient programme, thanked Sheringham staff and students for their efforts.

“What they have done is incredible, not just in terms of raising money, but also in raising awareness,” she said.

Other news

Yesterday, 16:14

A man was flown to hospital by air ambulance last night following a road traffic accident in Dereham.

Yesterday, 16:47

An ambulance boss has said pressures on the NHS are no longer confined to just the winter and are instead seen all year round.

Yesterday, 17:26

The One Show was being filmed in Fakenham on Thursday.

Yesterday, 15:35

Details have been released for the funeral of a former news and sports reporter from Fakenham.

Most Read

Yesterday, 16:14

A man was flown to hospital by air ambulance last night following a road traffic accident in Dereham.

Read more
Norfolk police
Yesterday, 16:47

An ambulance boss has said pressures on the NHS are no longer confined to just the winter and are instead seen all year round.

Read more
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Yesterday, 17:26

The One Show was being filmed in Fakenham on Thursday.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:35

Details have been released for the funeral of a former news and sports reporter from Fakenham.

Read more
George Acheson
Yesterday, 15:07

A woman from Dereham has handed over a cheque to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital after raising hundreds of pounds on her birthday.

Read more
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Most Commented

Yesterday, 16:14

A man was flown to hospital by air ambulance last night following a road traffic accident in Dereham.

Read more
Norfolk police
Yesterday, 16:47

An ambulance boss has said pressures on the NHS are no longer confined to just the winter and are instead seen all year round.

Read more
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Yesterday, 17:26

The One Show was being filmed in Fakenham on Thursday.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:35

Details have been released for the funeral of a former news and sports reporter from Fakenham.

Read more
George Acheson
Yesterday, 15:07

A woman from Dereham has handed over a cheque to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital after raising hundreds of pounds on her birthday.

Read more
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 13°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Dereham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Dereham Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter