My Story: Sergio Chacon - Step By Step

Beauty. What were the things that came to your mind when you read that word? Think briefly about it. What is considered beautiful? Is beauty only viewed through the physical aspect of it or is it much more than meets the eye? Why must we stand, as humans, to such a standard? Aren’t we all beautiful in our own way? That is why, to me, true beauty comes from within.

At the age of 8, I was diagnosed by the disease known as alopecia. There are several types of alopecia. Mine is so called alopecia areata universallis. Many of you may not be familiar with this disease but that’s okay. Alopecia is a major hair loss disease. Some may only get a small bald spot on the scalp. I, in other cases, got diagnosed but one of the most severe one of them all. Just to give you little fact about it: alopecia areata universalis (my type) is the least common type of alopecia with the condition affecting 0.1%-0.2% of humans. Crazy isn’t it? I still can’t believe it myself. My type not only caused me to lose a full head of hair, but also affected my entire body. Not a single hair was seen on my body. Yeah, you may be wondering it’s just hair. Of course it’s just hair, but growing up in a society where hair is a major part of a human appearance can cause big insecurities to a person. Sadly, in our society, we get judged by the way we look. I was only a young boy in elementary school that had no clue how to handle such a trauma. The hair loss began with a small bald spot on the back of my head. Many of the kids of my school started noticing the hair loss and began to make jokes about it. My parents decided to ask the school permission for me to wear a hat. Gladly, they understood and allowed me to be able to wear a hat. Since then, I began wearing a hat and until this date I am still known as the guy who always has a hat on. It seemed a bit strange at first because I was the only one with a hat on at school. I stood out in the crowd but that’s exactly what I didn’t want. Attention to myself. I didn’t want to be treated special just because I had some sort of disease. As a young kid, I just wanted to be ‘normal’.

At the time, it was very difficult. There would be days I had to show up late to school because my parents would have to take me across town to get treatment for my condition. Although my condition is only hair loss and may not harm me physically (other than appearance), it harmed me mentally. I had a few friends and the teachers were truly supportive but there were always those unanswered questions that stick to your head… Why me? I didn’t understand it much as a young boy. I wasn’t expected to. But little did I know, how much stronger as a person it would help me become. Don’t let anything stop you from being you. Surely, it didn’t stop me.

There’s always going to be those moments of discouragement and unwillingness to be motivated but you must find something that will help you get through it. Whether that something is music, art, sports, or just a simple hobby; if it causes you joy or relieves stress then use that something as motivation. A hobby is always great to forget what is going on in the world outside. That is the time for you to make your own world. My ‘world’ was created on the soccer pitch (field). The soccer field is my canvas so just give me a soccer ball, and I’ll give you art. Now I ask you to find something that you love and are passionate about and continue to grow on that because it’s a beautiful thing. Don’t hide that gift that you were given. That gift is meant to be shown to the world. Impossible is nothing.