Image of a child smiling while holding a sign that reads, "Coming Up Rosies" (background); Courtesy of family (Rosie Quinn)

I’m Proud to Be Different

Eleven-year-old Rosie Quinn is helping kids see that being unique is beautiful.

Courtesy of family

Rosie Quinn has sent “smile kits” to more than 20 hospitals across the country.

You probably noticed something about me right away. I’m different, and that’s OK. I have alopecia (a-loh-PEE-shuh). It’s a condition that causes my hair to fall out. It’s not life-threatening or contagious.   

I was 2 years old when all my hair fell out. Then, when I was about 4, I started to notice that kids would point at me and stare. It made me feel upset, like something was wrong with me. But I’m a healthy kid who just happens to not have hair!

At the time, I also loved to paint. My mom had one of my paintings printed on a head scarf. I put on the scarf, looked in the mirror, and said, “I want all bald kids to have this.” So, in 2016, we started Coming Up Rosies—an organization that helps bring smiles to kids’ faces. 

Love the Way You Look

Coming Up Rosies sends “smile kits” to kids in hospitals. We use donations to buy paint, brushes, and canvases for each kit. Kids create artwork and send it to us. Then we print it on scarves or superhero capes. That way, kids can wear their own art! 

So far, we have donated more than 3,000 smile kits. My goal is to give away 10,000 kits.

Hopefully, my smile kits help kids embrace the way they look. My advice for kids is to surround yourself with people who love you, be kind, and stay positive even when people are mean. Living with alopecia has taught me that I like to be different. If we all looked the same, life would be boring.

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