Makayla Krenzel, 10, with sister Cruz, eight. Makayla has been spreading awareness about her disease as a Canadian Alopecia Areata Ambassador and is participating in dance competitions with the Lake Country School of Dance. (Carli Berry/Capital News)

Spreading the ‘no hair, don’t care’ attitude

Makayla Krenzel is spreading awareness about her disease and participating in dance competitions.

Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

That’s the message Lake Country residents Makayla Krenzel and her mother, Becky, are sharing.

When Makayla was two, she was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease Alopecia Areata, which caused her to lose her hair.

Now, the Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School student is a Canadian Alopecia Areata Ambassador, spreading awareness for the disease.

“It’s a very self-conscious thing. We identify ourselves with the way we look,” said Becky.

But it didn’t stop Makayla from being herself. She’s an active dancer and refuses to wear a wig.

She finds them itchy, she said, and will be dancing bald in her upcoming solo performance with the Lake Country School of Dance in Vancouver Feb. 10 and 11.

The dance studio wanted Makayla to wear a wig, but she refused.

The company Liberty and Grace is donating wigs for the performers, so Makayla agreed to wear one if the other girls did, said Becky.

“She said ‘mom I don’t like the way they feel. This is the way I am mom, why would I change?’ I think that’s the biggest thing, I think she doesn’t feel comfortable,” said Becky.

The competition is called Velocity, and she will have the opportunity to perform in Las Vegas if she makes it to the next round.

The 10-year-old is also trying out for Team Canada, which will be performing in Germany.

Becky said it’s good for Makayla to experience the world.

“Living in Kelowna you’re kind of in a bubble… (when) you’re out of your element you realize how many people are looking at you, so with Team Canada (it was a big step for her.)”

Makayla won’t see if she made the team until the end of February.

But, with the help of friends and family, she holds her head with pride.

“I have good support,” said Makayla.

Her younger sister Cruz, will joke with her and tell her to do her hair in the morning.

While Makayla isn’t bullied, she finds it irritating when people want to touch her head, she said.

Becky is a also an Alopecia Areata group support leader in the Okanagan after she realized there weren’t support groups.

“People look at her and (assume) she’s got cancer,” said Becky, aiming to provide support for people with similar cases like Makayla’s.

Becky plans to hold a support group in March at the Rutland Library.

To follow Makayla’s journey find her on Instagram, and Facebook.

See previous story about Makayla.

Just Posted

Vandalism of fish incubators blow to well-known Lake Country family

Gary Kozub pioneered the kokanee incubator project and his family has been stewards of the salmon

Grade reconfiguration coming to Okanagan Mission schools

Grade 6-8 students will be enrolled in new middle school

School upgrade spending focus on West Kelowna school

Mount Boucherie Secondary washroom upgrade project to cost $590,000 to complete

Bear sightings down on the Westside, deer rises

Deer are proving to be problem according to Wildsafe BC Okanagan Westside annual report

Your morning news in 90: Dec. 17, 2018

Tune in for 90 seconds to get the top headlines for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

Shuswap business to provide fresh greens year round

Salmon Arm growers offer hydroponic test market to help develop signature salad mix

Interior Health offers new info tool for pregnant women

Moms-to-be with uncomplicated pregnancies can access tips by text or online

Hergott: When a crash causes further injury

Lawyer Paul Hergott covers how those with pre-existing neck or back condition face extra hurdles after a crash.

Shuswap farm market owner picks up oranges in California

Brad DeMille travels to U.S. to bring another 8,000 pounds of satsumas from family farm

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

Airline passengers could get up to $2,400 for delays, damaged bags: Canadian agency

Canadian Transportation Agency is releasing draft regulations for public feedback

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle and President Trump’s Twitter feed.

‘Spider-Verse’ swings to the top; ‘Mortal Engines’ tanks

“Spider-Verse” has been very well-received among critics, and audiences in exit surveys gave it a rare A+ CinemaScore.

Most Read