Teacher shaves head to show support for student losing hair

Teacher shaves head to show support for student who is losing hair

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

It's stressful for anyone who is losing their hair, but imagine losing it when you are just 8 years old. That's what has happened to Dean Shuffield, who suffers from alopecia areata. 

Alopecia areata is considered an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system, which is designed to protect the body from foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria, mistakenly attacks the hair follicles.

When it first happened he told us, "I kind of thought, how many other kids have this?"

So he made a  decision no child should have to make.  He shaved his head.

"I didn't really want to have more hair falling out, and it was annoying having hair falling out and going everywhere, so I wanted to shave it, so I don't have to deal with that."

But the decision didn't come easy.  He was nervous, and his mother asked Facebook friends to offer support. 

Among those who offered encouragement to Dean was his teacher at Lake Whitney Elementary, Ehren Steiner.  Dean shaved his head on Sunday, and when he came to class on Monday morning, he saw that his teacher had done the same, telling Dean he would support him 100 percent.

"When he said that, I felt really surprised and happy, and also he's really supportive.  If I was going to do it or not, he was supportive either way."

Steiner said that any teacher would have done the same thing.

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