Care packages for girls with trichotillomania

My name is Gessie and I am 21 years old. I have been a "Trichster" for a decade: I have trichotillomania, which is a compulsive hair pulling disorder. It has been the most important journey of my life and being a Trichster has made me who I am. I used to be extremely ashamed of having trich. I didn't want anyone to know; I hid and lived in secrecy. Always on the shyer side, I was already majorly lacking in the friends department. Being a teenage girl with bald spots and harboring a shameful secret, I lost any shred of confidence that I had had and was plagued with severe anxiety. On top of that, I felt even more misunderstood and isolated from my peers because I didn't know anyone else who pulled their hair out. I thought there must be something seriously wrong with me. My middle and high school years were rough, to say the least.  In 2015 at the age of 16 I attended my first TLC Foundation conference for body focused repetitive behaviors. TLC literally saved my life. I was able to meet lots of other people who had trich just like me, and for the first time in my life I felt truly understood. From that point on after my first conference, I came out of hiding, started sharing my story, and never looked back! As I've grown older and healed, my focus has shifted from helping myself, to helping other people.  One of my favorite things about the conference each year is witnessing the young girls blossom throughout the weekend. It warms my heart seeing them run around the hotel with each other, laughing and playing and just being kids. Sadly, trichotillomania often strips children of their childhood - but connecting with others and knowing that you're not alone makes a world of a difference, and helps shed some of the shame that comes along with having trich and hair loss as a young girl. Upon returning home from my fifth TLC conference in May 2019, and connecting with many new remarkable girls, I felt a strong calling by God that I just can't ignore, telling me that I need to do more, especially for girls who may not have the opportunity to attend the annual conference. I absolutely adore children, and have found my life's passion to be working with kids. In my everyday life, I work and volunteer with children in many capacities, between teaching at my church and being a caregiver for a girl with disabilities. That's why I'm combining my love for helping kids and my dedication to being an advocate for the trichotillomania community, to create a mentorship program for young girls, so that they won't have to feel alone.  This program is called Trichster Sisters. I love being a "big sister" role model for kids. I am sending personalized care packages to younger girls with trich, filled with things like hair accessories, fidget toys, a teddy bear, and more. Then we will start a pen pal correspondence. I want to be the person that I myself needed when I was a shy preteen girl who felt scared and alone. I don't want any kids to grow up feeling like they're on their own. I want them to know that they can grow up and still lead fulfilling lives even with trich... I am proof of that! I have big dreams and hopes for this project. But I can't do it alone. I need help getting it up off the ground, to cover the cost of supplies, packaging, and shipping for the packages. I'm not one to usually ask for money, but this mission is the cause nearest and dearest to my heart. This isn't for me. This is for the other kids out there living with trich.  Please, please, please help in any way you can. No amount is too small; every little bit helps and is all equally appreciated. I can't thank you enough, from the bottom of my heart.  You can also donate directly on PayPal to [email redacted] or Venmo: @GessieP With immense love and gratitude, Gessie Perez ♡ * You can find more about the Trichster Sister Program and request a care package for your daughter by visiting

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Gessie Perez
Hicksville, NY

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