The link above is to a list of Google news stories about Ryan McDonald's death. I'm in shock over reading about such a terrible tragedy...I understand what it's like to build up walls and a tough exterior to protect yourself and I'm appalled that another student chose to respond with such a violent reaction. What do you all think?

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This is a sad story. Obviously we don't know the full circumstances, but it's just sad things had to end the way they did. I hope he's in Alopecia Heaven ; )
Hello all,

Wow, I am from the town that this tragic incident happened and I just have to respond. I assure you that this had nothing to do with him having alopecia. My impressioin of Ryan through our local news is that he was a very good guy and well liked...his grandmother quoted the last exchange they had before school that morning "Hey Grandma, do I look sexy?", she replied "no, but you look handsome" it sounds like he had a sense of humor and pretty good self esteem to me.

I think that the media made a major mistake by posting the fact that he had alopecia as if it had anything to do with the shooting. I know that this story was shared in the other support group I am in and it caused much fear and anguish. So I wanted to make it clear that alopecia had nothing to with it....both boys had very challenging lives because of things out of their control, it was truly heartbreaking to hear some of their history. I just wanted to put everyone's mind at ease who might think that the shooting actually had anything to do with alopecia.

I am new to this group, my son has alopecia and was just diagnosed last spring. It was hard for him at first because there were only a few patches and we didn't know anything about this. He refused to go to school for a week because he didn't know what to say if the kids asked him...some of them mentioned cancer etc. but once he knew what it was, he could explain to them and seemed much better about it.

I am so glad that you brought that up as well, especially the part about him not being shot because he was an alopecian, with everything that goes on with one with alopecia that is one less worry that they should have.
Gina, thank you for contributing to this discussion. I read the message you sent to the other support group and hoped that you would also share your perspective here.

You're so right about the news reports. One headline even blared, "Ryan McDonald Afflicted with Alopecia and Shot Dead!" What an inflammatory and misleading title!

However, it must be noted that the media thrives on such sensationalism because the viewing public consumes the crap like it's the bread of life. Before we can expect better from the so-called news industry, we must demand more of and for ourselves as news consumers.

As I indicated in an earlier post, I agree that the media should not have linked Ryan’s alopecia to his murder. Besides, law enforcement officials still have not given a motive for the shooting. Nevertheless, what the media meant for gain we can use for good.

In other words, all of us who love and support alopecians should follow-up this unwanted publicity for alopecia with letters and calls to our local newspapers, radio stations, schools, religious institutions, and community organizations, urging them to help us promote alopecia awareness.

Given the “story” about Ryan, there is bound to be far greater openness to hearing and airing our concerns about the conditions and challenges faced by our alopecic loved ones and friends.
How hamper such act.Identified am it personally.It's terrible.Wife mine friend also grab on life because of alopecia.Only by chance she it miss.Her mind is but away.She have to live in sanatorium.In this year's year 2008 also my son took life.I always ask,why it had to state?Why am couldn't assist in!Excuse me please.I have not had it write.But I always proofless with it settle.Therefore I please!All teen - ager.Also bald are beautiful and parents you have like to!!! as
My mother called me and told me about the fact that he had alopecia. I knew he got killed, but of course the dumbasses here in Memphis didn't provide all the facts (something to do with if it don't have anything to do with anyone in Memphis then nobody here cares.) It also came out that his alopecia was the reason he got killed -- apparently the boy that did the shooting was his bully. It freaked her out because once again, it never occurred to my mother how horrible the teasing and bullying was for me in school, because after a while I got sick of her not understanding and stopped talking about it. Needless to say, it immediately put her back on her soapbox about how I should go around with my head covered so that the same thing doesn't happen to me. I politely told her (and don't get it twisted, I love my mom very much) that it's not my job to conform to society, and if society doesn't like my bald head then everyone (her included) can kiss it where the sun don't shine -- life is too short for me to be concerned with the opinions of others and how my AA makes them look!

My heart just cries for the McDonald family, and I hope with all my heart and soul that they throw the book at that kid that shot him -- murder 1, civil rights violations, commission of a hate crime -- and they should also prosecute his parents for conspiracy to commit a hate crime and civil rights violations, because hate is not something you are born with; it's something you are taught. That boy learned that behavior from somewhere. Another interesting note: the killer's sister is also wanted for murder in Knoxville too. Such heathenism must run in the family.
A wonderfully compassionate tribute to the late Ryan McDonald:
Thatz JUst Cruel .
Seriously why would anyone kill someone because of alopecia
it couold happen to them too.



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