Kayla Martell garnered national attention last year when she was named Miss Delaware. This weekend she'll battle for another crown, and if she wins, she will become the country's first bald Miss America.
The 22-year old beauty suffers from alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease in which the body's own defenses target the hair follicles, resulting in baldness. Alopecia can refer to different types of hair loss conditions. Kayla's condition, alopecia areata, affects only one area of her body - in this case, the scalp.
At this time, there is little known about this condition and effective treatments are not yet available.
Until we know more about this disease, Kayla is doing what she can to raise awareness for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. Whether or not Kayla is crowned Miss America on Saturday, I commend her for bringing this disease into the spotlight.