Rosie Quinn, An Eight-year-old with Alopecia Changing the World

Eight-year-old Rosie Quinn was diagnosed with alopecia when she was only 2 and a half years old.  Rosie went through years of bullying, pointing, and staring from onlookers. Still, that never dulled her tenacious and vibrant spirit! Along with her mother Paula, Rosie founded a non-profit organization named Coming Up Rosies. Coming Up Rosies aims to teach children about alopecia and other hair-loss conditions while teaching kids to accept themselves as they are. 

Rosie and her mother first began making head scarves for Rosie from her very own artwork. They have now turned this creative process into an entire service available to children everywhere suffering from hair loss. This helps refocus the topic of conversation away from the child’s lack of hair and focuses on the beauty of their artwork they get to wear. Rosie and her mother have been turning works of art into head scarves, neck scarves, and even superhero capes for kids everywhere, and have been donating these “Smile Kits” to children in hospitals. 

Rosie's Smile Kids

Rosie’s Smile Kits

Show Notes:

[06:20] When Rosie realized she was different from other children

  • She never realized her difference until other children began to point it out or openly stare at her
  • Paula taught Rosie about her condition alopecia and how to deal with it without crushing Rosie’s spirit
  • Rosie dealt with bullying for years due to her condition, but she learned how to respond to this in a positive way


[09:50] Realizing their daughter was suffering from Alopecia

  • Paula and her husband realized something was different with their little Rosie when she was only two and a half years old
  • Rosie was losing her hair, and her parents went to doctors and did their research on what could possibly be the cause, they thought it could have been something as severe as kidney failure, which hair loss is a symptom of
  • Thankfully, doctors were able to test Rosie and discover her diagnosis of alopecia universalis, which is a non-life threatening autoimmune disorder where all hair on the head and body falls out. There is no cure. 


 [17:12] Rosie’s Ideas to Create Scarves from her Paintings

  • Rosie’s venture began when her parents took one of her own drawings and had it printed onto a headscarf for her
  • Rosie says after wearing it for only five minutes, she had decided she wanted to create them and give them to children across the globe who also suffered from hair loss from various conditions
  • She and her mother began hosting “scarf parties” in countries all over the world, including Australia and Ireland


[21:34] Alopecia statistics

  • Only 1% of the world suffers from some form of alopecia
  • Some people suffer from it for only a period of time, while others deal with it their entire lives
  • Rosie has alopecia universalis, which is a rare version of the condition


 [24:05] The Alopecia Conference

  • The Alopecia Conference will be held in Washington DC in June
  • The conference was created in order to allow people with alopecia to meet and talk with one another


[27:32] Rosie’s Interests and Dreams for the Future

  • Rosie wants to make face masks
  • She is interested in becoming a Supreme Court Justice when she is older


Atara Twersky, Author of Curlee Girlee is a TODAY Show Style Icon. Her mission is to teach girls to embrace the beautiful curls they have with power and confidence. Join us as together we change the “coarse” of curly hair. Don’t forget to check out our recent article on What to Do or Say if Your Daughter is Showing Signs of Hating Her Curly Hair.

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