Dad’S South Run For Daughter Who Has Alopecia

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Entries for the Simplyhealth Great South Run are open. Enter at: Greatrun.org/South

A dad will tackle a 10 mile challenge in support of his eight year old daughter who has a severe form of Alopecia.

Steve Grant, 41, from Waterlooville, hopes to raise awareness about the condition, which caused his daughter Hollie to lose all of her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes.

Hollie was first diagnosed with the condition when she was just two years old.

After her hair gradually grew back, last year it fell out again more severely.

Steve and his wife Jo face the future of having to support Hollie with the long term impact that not having hair will have on her as she gets older and becomes more aware of her physical appearance.

The family decided to dedicate their time to raising awareness about Hollie’s condition, in the hope that more research is done into what causes Alopecia.

Steve decided that he would channel his fundraising into taking part in the Simplyhealth Great South Run, the world’s leading 10 mile running event that takes place in Portsmouth on Sunday 22 October.

Steve, 41 , said: “I want to raise money and awareness for my daughter Hollie because she has dealt with Alopecia since the age of two.

“The first time most of her hair fell out. It grew back, but unfortunately last year it all fell out again, but this time more severe, affecting her eyebrows and eyelashes.

“Hollie is real 'girly girl' and like many her age, loves dressing up, playing with her toys and with her friends and although she's an incredibly bright and happy young girl we are naturally fearful about the long term emotional impact that not having hair will have on her as she gets older.

“One of the things Hollie finds hardest about her condition is that people, including adults, often assume she has cancer.

“We thank our lucky stars everyday that isn't the case, but we are hoping that the more Alopecia gets talked about, the more awareness there will be, Hollie won't have to continually explain why she has no hair.

“Like other conditions that aren't life threatening there isn't a significant amount of research into what causes Alopecia and I am hoping that by running the Simplyhealth Great South Run we as a family will be doing our bit to raise much needed awareness.”

Steve will join 20,000 others for the Simplyhealth Great South Run on a fast and flat 10 mile course in Portsmouth and Southsea.

Participants start on Clarence Esplanade before being granted special access into Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, passing the likes of HMS Victory.

Runners cross the finish line on the scenic sea front, with beautiful views of the Isle of Wight.

Steve, who is also dad to Millie, 16 and Lewie, six, added: “Hollie thinks it's great that I'm doing the Simplyhealth Great South Run and that I'm running it with her two uncles.

“We've always been very honest and upfront with her about alopecia, even recently joining a local support group so she can meet other children like her, which has helped us all as a family understand more about it.

“I suffer with back problems so the training is proving problematic, but we've all agreed that the competitive element isn't the important factor here, it's showing solidarity and unity for Hollie so we're all looking forward to the day.

“I am really excited to see Hollie's face cheer us all on as we cross the finish line, with her knowing how proud her family is of her and the little lady she's become.” ?

Support Steve and Hollie’s fundraising here.

Entries for the Simplyhealth Great South Run are open. Enter at: Greatrun.org/South