CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Complete strangers are making-over for a Charlotte woman battling a difficult disease.
Like in most homes the photos on Janice Reichl’s wall tell the story of her life.
“That’s the longest it ever was naturally, it’s one of my favorite pictures,” she says, pointing out a picture in the living room, “I wish I could have that hair back.”
Her hair has come and gone over the last eight years.
“I cry every time. It’s pretty dramatic. I just shower one day and see handfuls.”
The 38-year-old has Lupus.
She's having her hair re-shaped by a complete stranger.
It is a difficult disease, costing Janice a high-powered D.C. job when she was first diagnosed.
At times she is exhausted. She's about to lose her house. She had to file bankruptcy. And all she wants is to look presentable on job interviews.
“So I didn’t feel like me at all, and then to look in the mirror and not look like you, it was very upsetting. I didn't know who I was inside or outside all because of Lupus.”
A friend mentioned her plight to a group of women in a Charlotte Facebook group, and local hairstylist Jill Dyer was one of several who wanted to help out.
“It was heartwarming and amazing,” she says, “That we still are human and when someone needs help we still just want to be a part of it. It was really heartwarming.”
Janice plans to pay it forward. She's trying to find a marketing job with a non-profit.
“Especially now after so many people have helped me it’s the best way to help someone else.”
Friday is “Put on Purple Day”, where people are asked to wear the color to show their support for lupus patients.
The event was started here in North Carolina but is now national.
For other more information on Put On Purple Day and other Lupus Awareness Month activities, click here or visit www.lupusnc.org.