The Meet the Leaders Series is an opportunity to learn some information about your peer support leaders before you attend a meeting.
Hello and welcome to the Calgary CBSN Support Group! I am very excited to hold our first meeting in Calgary on September 19th, and I would like to introduce myself. I will be one of the group leaders, and my name is Brenda Cameron. My daughter, Claire, 18 years old, has had Trichotillomania since she was 10 years old.
After very challenging first years where we struggled with poor diagnosis, and even poorer resources, and effective treatment, we eventually found our way to TLC (American version of CBSN), and we have not looked back. Though Claire still struggles with Trichotillomania, and has once again lost most of her hair in the last few years, she has had periods of remission.
We found a resource centre (TLC) where we were able to access better resources and more effective treatments, and to this day, Claire and I are a team, a mother and a daughter, who share, struggle and rejoice in this journey that we are on.
Two years ago I became increasingly active in the Trichotillomania community when I joined the TLC Board of Directors. Today, I serve as the Vice President of TLC Board of Directors. It was this role that offered me a chance to meet Sarah Robertson of CBSN in Toronto a year ago, and I have since begun the process of developing a support group/network for sufferers in the Calgary region.
At our initial meetings, Claire will not be attending since she is currently in school in Denmark, but I look forward to introducing her to our group when she returns. In the meantime, I hope to offer our Calgary community, for the first time, an opportunity to come together, to not only share our stories, but to also find hope and peace within this community of people who have suffered deeply from a disease that sadly too often leaves us isolated and fearful.
I remember the first time Claire and I attended a TLC conference in Dallas, TX. We had no expectations, and doubted the wisdom of travelling so far to this conference, but within hours after the Friday night reception, I watched my 12 year old daughter for the first time, take off her wig, and join other girls and boys her age without feeling shame and fear because in that moment she shared a similar story, and her isolation ended. Today she remains friends with the same kids, and it is my hope that our newly founded CBSN support group in Calgary will offer the same community for sufferers of BRFB’s.
“Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter. The one of us who finds the strength to get up first, must help the other.” (Vera Nazarian)