7-year-old girl with alopecia didn't let that stop her for school's Crazy Hair Day
7-year-old Gianessa Wride dazzled during her school's Spirit Week.
— -- One 7-year-old girl in Utah didn't let her alopecia stop her from participating in her school's Crazy Hair Day.
Daniella Wride told ABC News that she was "nervous" when her daughter, Gianessa, arrived home from Salem Elementary School with details on its Spirit Week, which included a day called Crazy Hair Day.
Gianessa was diagnosed months earlier with alopecia, a disorder in which a person's immune system attacks the hair follicles.
Wride, a mother of three, added, "I didn't want her to feel left out, so I knew we had to come up with something. I just didn't know what."
Wride, a nurse, said her daughter began losing her hair in January.
"I was combing through her hair after she had just taken a shower, and so much was coming out into the brush," she recalled.
That's when she and her husband of eight years, Tyler Wride, took their daughter to a dermatologist. By then, however, all her hair had fallen out, including her eyebrows.
Doctors diagnosed Gianessa with stress-induced alopecia. Daniella Wride said it made sense, as Gianessa had not only endured a recent move from Tennessee but also witnessed her grandmother die unexpectedly.
"Gian watched her collapse, and she lost her hair eight weeks later," Wride said.
After walking through an arts and craft store and seeing scrapbooking materials, Wride was hit by an idea: decorate her daughter's head with adhesive jewels. They cost $4 and only took 10 minutes to apply.
Initially, Gianessa was nervous her classmates wouldn't like it, but "as soon as she looked in the mirror, she said, 'Mom, this is awesome. I love it,'" Wride recalled.
Gianessa told ABC News that she got a boost of confidence once she hit school.
"It was awesome," she said, "because everyone liked it."
After Wride posted photos of her work on social media, photos of Gianessa quickly went viral.
The family hopes that it encourages others with alopecia to love and accept themselves.
"We hope that people are finding the strength and encouragement from this," Wride said.