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Share Your Triumph

At iOvercame.com, we believe in a basic truth—life is hard. However, we believe in the power of each other. In the space below we ask you to share your story of triumph. Whether you got cut from a sports team or dealt with with depression, your story can help someone. Your identity will be kept anonymous. You never know who you might inspire. #iOvercame


 
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Charlie Villanueva is used to people staring at him. Not just because he is a seven-year NBA veteran who had a decorated college and high school basketball career, but because he suffers from alopecia universalis.

Alopecia Universalis results in total hair loss throughout the entire body. Villanueva was diagnosed when he was 10 years old. By the time he was 12, he had no hair at all. He used to wear a baseball cap in class because he was embarrassed by his condition. But over time, he used his condition as inspiration to work harder both in the classroom and in the gym.

"All those kids who made fun of me, I thank them now," he says, smiling. "They helped make me who I am," Villanueva has said in interviews.

Best of all, Charlie has made helping others with a condition a huge focus in his life. For over 7 years Charlie has worked with the National Alopecia Arreta Foundation (NAAF) and frequently helps encourage young children who suffer from Alopecia Universalis. He invites many kids to his games and visits with them afterwards as part of his "Charlie's Angels" Program.

As Villanueva has put it, "I want these kids to know that just because you have alopecia, alopecia doesn't have you. If you let it have you, it's going to tear you down."

#iovercame

Comments

Great story. It's always incredible to hear about people triumphing over adversity, especially adversity that is completely out of that person's control, like Alopecia Universalis. This type of story reminds me alot of cancer patients who survive through the ordeal simply because of their strength and quality of character. Charlie Villanueva is truly an inspiration, and we could all learn alot from him!

What a powerful story. I really like the part when Villanueva said, "All those kids who made fun of me, I thank them now. They helped make me who I am." For me personally, it is often hard to take a difficult and unfortunate situation and turn it postive, turn it into fuel for something good. However, I feel that is such a important lesson to take away from this story. When someone takes a bad situation and makes it good, you reverse the trend, and make the world a better place. I need to work on doing that in my own life just as Villanueva did

I wonder, even at his current state, if Villanueva is still picked on or made fun of to an extent. Do other basketball players taunt him? If so, I wonder how he deals with it.

The key here is using experience to help others. That's what Villanueva did and it looks like that is what this site is about. To the poster above, it's not about whether he still gets picked on, but that he has become comfortable with himself despite his condition

To the comment above, I know that Kevin Garnett has picked on Villanueva. He handed it well publicly. But I wonder how it effected him privately. That is an interesting question definitely.

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