DECATUR– Ten months ago the word alopecia was just that to the family of sheriff’s detective Dale Pope and his wife Lisa, just a word.
In November the Pope’s began to notice that their 5 year old daughter, Cassie’s, hair was falling out in large clumps. Soon thereafter the young girl was diagnosed with alopecia, an auto immune disorder in which your body rejects the hair follicles growing on your body, and the two parents decided to shave their daughters head.
“It was one of the more challenging things we have done as parents,” Detective Pope said on Monday. “Part of it is good that she is five years old because nothing seems to get her too down, but at the same time explain complicated things to a five year old isn’t always the easiest thing.”
On Monday, Pope’s colleagues at the Macon County Sheriff’s Office and some from the Decatur Police Department rallied around their co worker and his daughter and shaved their heads.
“This is why we are who we are,” Macon County Sheriff Tom Schneider said. “We do a lot of stuff around the community to make the community better and this was an opportunity to help one of our own and I am proud of my guys who stepped up today to rally around detective Pope.”
Pope says his daughter may regain her hair within the next six months, or the disease could be a lifelong battle for the girl, “We are taking it day by day right now, obviously we hope and pray for the best outcome possible but we want to be realistic, too.”
“We want this to be more than an event today, we want to do what we can to educate people about the disease,” Pope added. “People are less scared of something that they know about and we want to do whatever we can to educate as many people about the disease as we can.”