What does every mother want for their daughter?
To see them smile.
Which is why it was so difficult for Paula Quinn to see her daughter, Rosie Quinn struggle with alopecia. Being a young girl with no hair has presented obvious challenges and uncomfortable moments for Rosie. Lots of people stare and point, and when Rosie was about four, it became clear she was struggling with the emotional part of being different.
Rosie is a special young lady, but even for the most confident of kids, looking different from your classmates and friends is hard. One day, Paula decided to turn one of Rosie’s pieces of artwork into a headscarf, and the transformation was instantaneous. Rosie lit up with the beautiful artwork, and instead of people focusing on her lack of hair, they were asking about her beautiful headscarf.
Rosie wanted to give this gift of joy to other kids who lost their hair because of alopecia or cancer, and so the family charity, Coming Up Rosie’s was born. Rosie is on a mission to help other bald children feel this same sense of pride and love for themselves.
For Paula, the mission required making some sacrifices. She quit her job of 10 years at Google and one year later, Coming Up Rosie’s was off the ground. While it might seem simple in hindsight, quitting her job, starting a charity, and managing the day to day of motherhood, on top of having a child with alopecia, was a difficult transition. During this time, Paula decided to write a children’s book called, My Hair Went on Vacation, to help spread alopecia awareness and help other families manage the emotions of growing up without hair.
Since its founding, they have provided fifteen hundred Smile Kits to hospitals all over the world. When the Covid pandemic started, they launched a #buyamaskgiveamask campaign to send headscarves to hospital staff, families and children, to use as masks.
Rosie is a great reminder that you are never too young to rock your joy, and Paula and Rosie’s dedication to helping children with alopecia feel empowered and happy, is truly inspiring.
You can hear our conversation HERE.