CLINTON — Beverly Parkerson is bright and outgoing. Just by looking at her you cannot imagine why people picked on her so much as a child. But, of course, looks are only skin deep.
As a child, Parkerson was a pretty little girl with big green eyes. School photos show there was seldom a smile. Nearly 30 years later, Parkerson still has those big green eyes, only now, her smile lights up a room.
At age six, Parkerson lost all of her hair due to a puzzling condition called Alopecia Universalis. She remembers the pain of growing up wearing a wig.
"I remember sitting in third grade. I had a girl who threatened to pull my wig off on the playground every day if I didn't do her wor for her," says Parkerson.
Parkerson lived each day with the fear of losing her wig, until she got a hair prosthesis.
Unlike wigs, a hair prosthesis is vacuum-sealed to the scalp. It does not come off unless the person wearing it wants it to, giving them the freedom to do whatever they want.
Made out of human hair, the prothesis looks, feels, and moves like real hair. It helped Parkerson regain her confidence, and also discover an inner-strength.
"You can't go through what I've been through and not be a strong person," she says.
Today, Beverly Parkerson has things she never dreamed of prior to wearing the prosthesis: self-esteem, a job she loves and, most of all, her son Dare.
She says it is all because she overcame a burden that is now her inspiration.
"I wouldn't wish Alopecia on my worst enemy, but I wouldn't trade it. It's brought me to where I am. It's made me a strong person," she says.
Through her business, Laurels and Ivey, Parkerson has helped people of all ages, including children and men. She says many of them had never even met someone else with Alopecia.
If you would like more information on alopecia or hair prosthesis call
Parkerson hopes to work with doctors and help them understand the emotions and fears that go along with having the condition.