Local brothers with alopecia host lemonade stand

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published August 25, 2021

 Easton, left, and Kody Clark, of Macomb Township, hold a lemonade stand Aug. 8. Proceeds are going to Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan. The brothers have alopecia, a skin disease that causes hair loss.

Easton, left, and Kody Clark, of Macomb Township, hold a lemonade stand Aug. 8. Proceeds are going to Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan. The brothers have alopecia, a skin disease that causes hair loss.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Clark family was back at it again, hosting a lemonade stand.

This time, it was Kody’s turn, in addition to older brother Easton.

On Aug. 8, the 4-year-old Kody helped operate a lemonade stand at the family home in Macomb Township. Over 70 people came out to support the cause.

“Kody was also diagnosed with alopecia at the beginning of the year,” mother Amber Clark said. “Easton wanted to do it again last year but couldn’t because of COVID.”

The National Alopecia Areata Foundation states that alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin disease, causing hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes on other areas of the body.

Alopecia areata can develop among people of all ages, sexes and ethnic groups.

“Thank you everyone, from the bottom of our hearts, who came out, donated and helped raise awareness of alopecia,” Amber said after the lemonade stand wrapped up.

As a mother, Amber said it’s very heartwarming seeing her boys being thoughtful.

“It makes me proud they realize what they are doing and the cause that it’s going for,” she said. “It makes my husband and I very happy to see that they want to do this to help other kids who struggle with the same condition they have.”

Two years ago, Easton, who turns 6 next month, worked a lemonade stand, raising over $900 for Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan.

Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids Wellness Center and Salon in St. Clair Shores is a nonprofit that provides wigs and support services at no charge to children and young adults experiencing hair loss due to cancer, alopecia, trichotillomania, burns and other disorders.

Maggie Varney, founder and CEO of Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, said what’s beautiful about the program is that it’s about kids helping kids.

“It’s not just the funds they raise, but the awareness,” she said. “It was pretty hot Sunday, and they were willing to have their lemonade stand all day.”

Varney said the Clark kids know what it’s like to be different and have alopecia.

“Instead of shying from it, they’re embracing it and helping raise awareness to help other kids,” she said.  

Easton Clark was diagnosed with alopecia areata when he was 1. At that time, he lost all of his hair, but it all came back. A year later, he started losing patches.

“Kody’s been shaving his head ever since Easton started shaving his head,” Amber Clark said. “This year, when we were shaving Kody’s head is when we found the spot. His wasn’t nearly as noticeable as Easton’s.”

Kody, who also has eczema, went to a pediatrician where his bloodwork came back with no issues.

Amber said Kody didn’t lose all of his hair — just the front part.

“Shortly after, it all grew back, so Kody is at full regrowth now and Easton’s typically falls out in the winter and comes back in the summer,” she said.

When the Clark’s learned Kody had alopecia, Amber said they were more prepared to handle it.

“We knew what to expect, and every journey with alopecia is different,” she said. “He has Easton to look up to.”

Amber shared a story from when it was wacky hair day at school, she was struggling with ideas for Kody.

“Easton goes, ‘Mom, I got this. We have alopecia and every day is wacky hair day,’” she said. “I thought something is going right here, because Easton does so well with it.”

Prior to Aug. 8, over $1,000 had been donated. On the day of the sale, about $2,000 was raised.

Varney said those funds will provide wigs and support services for three families.

The fundraising effort took place just in time for Alopecia Awareness Month, which is September.

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