The day I became a mom, there was nothing I felt more destined to be. The day I became a medical mom, took everything I learned about motherhood and turned it upside down.
Being a medical mom, or parent, will swallow you whole and spit you back out a different person; you become a stronger, smarter, slightly more broken version of yourself that sometimes you cannot recognize.
Having a daughter, made me a mommy, having a son with a rare congenital heart defect made me a heart mom, then having a son with the autoimmune disease Alopecia made me a mom with a child with hair loss.
These are all roles I take immense pride in.
When I gave birth to my youngest son who needed lifesaving open heart surgery, I never thought I’d see the day that something would compare and weigh so heavy on my heart. Then along came Alopecia and my 5 year old becoming completely bald almost from head to toe …
Alopecia has been yet another unpredictable, unstoppable, incurable, heartbreaking journey for our family. It presented itself quickly and fiercely, it brought confusion and tears and as Anthony’s mom I have made it my mission to never let it take his smile.
Everyday he’s reminded of how kind, smart and handsome he truly is. We’re not absentminded to the fact that there are people, children, fighting bigger battles, God knows we’ve been on each end of that sword and we’re reminded to count our blessings; yes “it’s just hair” .. but Anthony is still only 5 years old and it’s been a lot for him to understand.
Social acceptance that has brought tears, treatments with side effects, risks that bring worry, choices that come with mom guilt galore… it’s been a lot for all of us to understand and wrap our heads around.
Anthony is encouraged to go “hatless” but some days are easier than others and hats have become “his thing”. With the hope to spread awareness, acceptance and help Anthony smile by building his hat collection, OPERATION HAT DROP began.
By word of mouth, in just 6 weeks, Anthony now has over 1,400 hats to both keep and to share!
Anthony has been given hats and supported by Supervisor Saladino and The Town Board of Oyster Bay, NCPD, Nassau County Mounted Unit, SCPD, The NHP Fire Department, various special units within NYPD, Armed Forces, The Massapequa Fire Department, Beyond The Badge, NY METS, Brandon Steiner of Steiner Sports, ESPN, both large and local small businesses, family, friends and community from all across the country.
Anthony and OPERATION HAT DROP are now paying it forward and donating hats to children with hair loss, to help them smile too!
In addition to many hat drops happening soon, OPERATION HAT DROP has already donated hundreds of hats to The Children with Hair Loss Organization as well as many children here on Long Island. CWHL donates free hats and wigs to children who suffer from hair loss due to Cancer, Alopecia and many other medical reasons.
Children with Hair Loss is very special to our family because just this past Valentine’s Day my 4 year old, heart warrior son, Jon, donated 13 inches of his hair to this organization just a few days prior to Anthony’s official Alopecia diagnosis. Talk about life coming full circle.
As our mission grows, my goal is not only for Anthony to build a hat collection, or to pay it forward but for my children to see the kindness given by others and continue to spread that kindness as they grow and continue their lifelong journeys.
We aspire to connect and support small children fighting big battles, and for some that support may come in the form of a hat on days they need a little extra comfort.
If you’d like to send Anthony a *NEW* hat and help be the reason he or another child smiles please mail directly OR porch drop off to
c/o 358 Atlantic Ave
Massapequa Park, NY 11762
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