–by Jennifer Ruple
PUBLICATION DATE: January 21, 2020
Four years ago, Sylvania resident McKenna Reitz lost all her hair due to Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disorder of minimal to severe hair loss, which affects more than 6.8 million people of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds in the U.S. “It was a difficult journey in the beginning as my identity was ripped from me, but I made the decision to not allow Alopecia to define me, rather I was going to define it,” she said.
A mom to two young daughters and a teacher and varsity volleyball coach at Springfield High School, Reitz is volunteering her time to help organize Rocket for Alopecia Weekend, a program of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, with help from Brandywine Country Club and the University of Toledo Men’s Basketball family.
Rocket for Alopecia consists of two events. Friday, Jan. 24 will feature an evening of music and dancing, hors d’oeuvres, and a live auction at Brandywine Country Club, 6904 Salisbury Rd., at 7 pm. Saturday, Jan. 25 features the Alopecia Awareness Game when the University of Toledo Men’s Basketball Team plays Bowling Green State University at Savage Arena at 7 pm.
Tickets for the events are available at rocketforalopecia.com. Proceeds benefit the National Alopecia Areata Foundation with research, medical trials and legislative advocacy efforts.
“Alopecia has given me my life’s purpose and that is to bring as much awareness to it as possible,” Reitz explained. “We are all battling something. We all have a story, and we are all strong enough to fight anything.”