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Hair loss ordeal for Lowestoft girl bullied at school

PUBLISHED: 09:10 16 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:21 06 July 2010

FIGHTING BACK: Sophie Nixon, who suffers from alopecia, with her sister Chloe.

FIGHTING BACK: Sophie Nixon, who suffers from alopecia, with her sister Chloe.

WHEN football fanatic Sophie Nixon started losing clumps of her hair, no one in her family knew that bullying at school was making the youngster ill.

Now the 12-year-old from Lowestoft has spoken out about her alopecia to encourage other young people to seek help if they are being bullied.

WHEN football fanatic Sophie Nixon started losing clumps of her hair, no one in her family knew that bullying at school was making the youngster ill.

Now the 12-year-old from Lowestoft has spoken out about her alopecia to encourage other young people to seek help if they are being bullied.

Sophie's hair started falling out two years ago and she soon lost her eyebrows and eyelashes. It was only when her parents took her to see a doctor that she told them she was being teased at school and she was diagnosed with the condition, which causes sudden hair loss.

Her mother Helen Nixon said: “I felt absolutely helpless. She woke up crying one night with clumps of hair on her pillow and we took her to the doctors, but it was too late to stop the hair loss. Within a few weeks it had all gone.

“She'd never mentioned being bullied at school, and then the hair loss made it worse because she was teased for having cancer and all sorts of cruel things.

“She found it so hard because she had such beautiful blonde hair and now that's all gone. It's been tough for all of us.”

As well as causing hair loss, Sophie's alopecia affected her immune system and she was only able to go to Roman Hill Middle School for half-days because she was constantly tired.

The avid Lowestoft Town Football Club supporter now spends two days a week at the Harbour pupil referral unit in Lowestoft, where staff are helping her prepare to join the Denes High School in September.Mrs Nixon, of Avondale Road, said: “Once we told the school she was being bullied, they were great and did everything they could to help and make sure things changed. They've been very supportive.”

Sophie, who attends Lowestoft Town home games at the nearby Crown Meadow ground most weekends, said that her love for the football club has helped her through tough times.

She has now been given a replica club shirt and is going to be a mascot in May as a gift for her 13th birthday.

“I really think the football club is what has kept her going. They've been so friendly and she loves going to their games, we owe them a huge thanks for everything,” said Mrs Nixon.

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