Andrea Roussel had never experienced the joy of brushing her hair, as she simply hadn’t had any since she was a toddler. But a stranger helped change all that in a most unusual way. You could call it a miracle.
Most of us take our hair for granted; it’s known as our “crowning glory.” Many women enjoy experimenting with many different styles and colors. Except those among us who have no hair due to chemotherapy or some other medical condition.
Andrea Roussel was born with plenty of hair, but within two years, her hair fell out in patches, and by the time she was 4, she was totally bald. She was diagnosed with alopecia, an incurable autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.
“I always remember being bald,” Andrea told CBN.
The first wigs she wore were netted and had to be stuck on with tape, and Andrea said they looked fake. Later, her parents found a company that specializes in custom-made wigs, which “were quite expensive, but they were beautiful,” said Andrea.
“In my head, I just thought, ‘Well nobody knows I have a wig on, and nobody can tell.’ And to me, I had hair … I had perfect reddish brown hair that I could put bows in, and I learned how to french braid. It was kind of an accessory; it was kind of like a shoe.”
Andrea admits she wasn’t really bothered by having no hair.
“I stuck out easily and again, it wasn’t a big thing for me. I just couldn’t grasp that it really was such a significant thing to be 16 and be a girl walking around bald.”
When Andrea played hockey on the school team, she opted to wear a bandanna instead of a wig.
That’s when her life turned around. She was walking through the gym one day after practice when she heard someone call out to her, “Excuse me, ma’am?” It was the school janitor Greg. He had assumed she had undergone chemo for cancer and lost her hair.
“I just explained to him like everyone else I had in 20 years, that I didn’t have cancer, that I just had Alopecia and no big deal. And he said, ‘Well God thinks hair is important, too. Do you mind if I still pray?’ And I was like, by all means.”
“I felt compassion for her,” Greg said.
“So he took off his gloves which I guess I remember so vividly because nobody had ever went to lay hands on me or even really prayed for my hair because again, I was fine, I was healthy,” Andrea recalled.
Not long after this encounter, her teammates on the hockey team had noticed she had grown eyelashes, and not only that, amazingly, she began to grow hair all over her head.
“At the end of October, it just was so blatant. I mean, it was all over my head like a baby’s coming in … peach fuzz. It just kept growing, and I went back to meet with Greg, the janitor and was like, ‘Keep praying, look!’”
“To go twenty years completely bald and then have it grow back is something completely significant,” she said.
That was an interesting encounter Andrea, who now coaches at a Christian high school in Louisville, probably won’t forget in her lifetime.
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