Support Group Leader Spotlight: Becky Hibbs Newson
For the better part of a decade, Becky Hibbs Newson has been a shining light in the NAAF community. In addition to being the Support Group Leader for Nashville, Becky has been an awareness event coordinator, a fundraiser, and a featured speaker (and performer) at our 2012 conference in Washington, DC. A gifted songwriter and musician, she delivered a bravura performance at our landmark Concert of Voices in 2017. Here in her own words is Becky’s story, which she hopes inspires you and others with alopecia areata.
After 28 years of living with Alopecia Universalis my medical condition is now considered my lifestyle. I’m recognized all over Nashville and am truly making connections with people because of two choices: relieving myself from the pressure of wearing hair and starting the Nashville Alopecia Areata support group.
My entire life has led up to these choices. From attending the Harrisburg Area Support Group as a child, connecting with a local news program and being interviewed at 8 years old, attending the NAAF conferences as often as possible, modeling hairpieces for a company in NYC, using my story of alopecia areata to get into Belmont University, and eventually beginning to live my daily life without wearing hair while working in the Music Industry. My confidence was growing through experiences and I had to share it!
In 2015 I started the Nashville Alopecia Areata Support Group with Dr. Lloyd King as my medical director and main encourager to keep this group going and growing. We’ve gone from four meetings a year to one meeting each month—and no matter how many people attend, someone leaves encouraged! We now have someone new at each meeting, and the stories they share are inspiring.
As time goes by, our passions can shift, but one passion will never change for me: I LOVE my Alopecia Areata community. Even after 28 years, I still have days when I wonder, Why me? I still question my confidence, my value, and my accomplishments. But when I surround myself with bald heads at my support group meetings, I feel all those doubts melt away.
I like to encourage my support group with these words: “Knowledge is Understanding. People don’t understand what they don’t know. So go spread the word about alopecia areata so the world can know, and people can understand!”
“Wearing hair should be something you do for yourself, not for anyone else! Allow yourself the freedom to choose when you want to wear it. Don’t let anyone else tell you to wear it.”
I hope that if you’re reading this and you haven’t found a support group, you reach out to one and get plugged in! Your world will change, and alopecia areata can become your lifestyle!