Senators’ young forward shares details about significant health issue

Parker Kelly opened up about his condition:



When forward Parker Kelly took his helmet off for the national anthems during the 2021-22 season, fans noticed something odd about his hair.

My body fights my hair,” explains Kelly to Ian Mendes of The Athletic. “So I can’t really control it.”

Kelly suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes loss of hair. The most severe cases can result in complete hair loss over the entire body. You may know that actress Jade Pinkett Smith also suffers from alopecia, which prompted her husband Will Smith to slap host Chris Rock who mocked her condition during the 94th Academy Awards on March 27, 2022.  Kelly had dealt with many questions and curious comments on his disease, but has also taken some vile attacks on social media.

“You can go down quite a rabbit hole on the internet, so he really avoids that,” his fiancée, Kiarra McMullan says. “But I truly never saw him hold onto anything people said. Maybe he’d be down in the dumps for 10 minutes and then he’d snap out of it.”

Mendes revealed that two years ago, Kelly’s alopecia had progressed to the point where Kelly relented and shaved his entire head. However, he has now undergone a strict regimen of taking prescription pills and using a medicated spray prescribed by a dermatologist, and the routine has allowed him to get his hockey flow back, in time for the 2023-24 season.

“With my hockey hair back, it’s nice,” Kelly says with a wide smile. “You can see the hair flowing out the back of the helmet.”

Last season, Kelly recorded a goal and four points in 55 games with the Senators. He attempts to crack the roster this season and become a game-changer for the team, and who knows, maybe also for alopecia awareness as well.

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