Meet Leah | She is Beauty Revived with Gianna Grace Photography
Ever since Leah was born, she’s been full of life. I always wonder how I had such a fearless child because I was always cautious, making sure every step was calculated. Leah, she jumps over steps! She is adventurous, kind-hearted, a natural cheerleader, super smart, & she just happens to have Alopecia. I wish I could say every day is rainbows & butterflies, but it’s not. Leah deals with insecurities & bullying. She misses curling her straight hair to match mommy’s naturally curly hair, wearing her softball bows, & growing her hair out to braid it; I miss these things too. However, this does not define who she is but it may define who she becomes.
Since Leah was little, she’s always dealt with health issues. Nothing life-threating but bumps in the road. She was born with Eczema, which resulted in allergies, scars, abscesses, & MRSA. She had surgeries, week long hospital stays, & countless medications. As soon as we would recover from one issue, a whole new one would begin. It always seemed like she just couldn’t catch a break. Through it all, Leah still had an excitement for life. What’s the saying…my glass is always half full? Well, Leah’s is always FULL…to the brim! She is the epitome of an optimist. She always sees the good in everything & only takes seconds to have a pity-party before she’s running around, laughing & making jokes.
I on the other hand, have struggled with keeping a positive attitude throughout her health issues. Alopecia was definitely my breaking point. I kept telling myself, “It’s just hair! She doesn’t have cancer…this doesn’t affect her well-being…she’s happy.” That would hold me over until another child would make a comment to Leah about her hair, why does she always wear a hat, play keep away with her hat, call her bald. My first reaction was to abruptly find their parents, or sit them down sternly and give them a what’s what. I quickly realized if I educated them on Leah’s condition, they accepted it & moved on. It was the parents that didn’t. I would get comments to say “You know her hair is never going to grow back, right?” or “What are you doing about her hair?” or “Gosh, her hair keeps getting thinner & thinner & thinner!” Depending on the day, I would either walk away, explain that Leah is handling it well, or I would ask them how this little nugget of information is helping me. Do you feel better about yourself because you think your comment is doing me some good? I mean, I’ve been there. You know someone is dealing with something and you’re not sure if you should say something & if you do, what you should say. My “right” answer is if the intent behind your comment or question does not stem from compassion, refrain from saying anything at all. I have no issues talking about it, answering questions, or even hearing advice as long as it is coming from a good place & not a place of judgement.
Leah’s life is filled with softball, running around with friends in her new neighborhood, cuddling with Arlo (our Pug), swimming all day if you let her, & spending time with family who loves her unconditionally. I mentioned earlier Alopecia may define who Leah becomes. One of my many fears was this would change the course of who she is in a negative way. In life, you can always go left or right but I think Leah’s struggles are only making her stronger. When asked at school for MLK Day what was her dream, she said to be a scientist or a doctor so she could cure childhood diseases like Alopecia or cancer. I can look at her & see what an amazing woman she is going to be one day & I get chills because I am lucky enough to be that girl’s mom.
Note from the photographer: I have known Leah since she was a baby, I have watched her tackle the world with such strength and beauty. She looks at the world as an adventure, her constant zest for life and appreication for the journey fill my heart and inspire me. Leah has been a muse to my art over the past few years and it was an honor to caputre her for the sole purpose of capturing her soul and heart. Leah, not only are you beauty revived, you are a peice of my heart that keeps on inspiring me to create with love and joy. xo, Ms. Kat