A make-up artist is touring the country to help cancer patients who have lost their hair as a result of their treatment.
Norman Freeman – who as an alopecia sufferer knows the transformational power of make-up first hand – gives makeovers to people with cancer free of charge.
The 22-year-old from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, told Today that the impact of hair loss can be ‘really devastating’ but that make-up can help people to feel better in the face of illness.
Positive force: Make-up artist and alopecia sufferer Norman Freeman, 22, pictured left with a makeover recipient, visits hospitals to help cancer patients
Generous spirit: Norman, pictured, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, gives makeovers to cancer patients free of charge
‘Being sick, not having any hair — that is really devastating. But I can give you those eyelashes, those brows, and make you feel better,’ he said.
‘I know how untouchable makeup can make me feel. I want help people say: “I’m sick, and it’s awful, but I can still feel beautiful.”‘
Norman was diagnosed with autoimmune disease alopecia when he was five years old.
Within two years he had lost all of the hair on his head and his eyelashes and eyebrows and was subsequently bullied for it.
Although his hair grew back sporadically as a teenager, he later lost it, leaving him ‘in a dark place.’
East coast: Norman, who was first diagnosed with alopecia aged five, has visited hospitals in New York and Philadelphia to give makeovers, pictured
Smiling: Norman said he has been deeply moved by the hospital visits he has made so far
Campaign: Norman, pictured bottom right with a makeover recipient, is raising money on GoFundMe to help with travel costs so that he can visit hospitals further afield
After discovering an interest in make-up through YouTube tutorials, he went to beauty school and turned his passion into a career.
Norman said he has been deeply moved by the hospital visits he has made so far.
Describing an encounter he had with a young girl from Pittsburgh who remained positive despite her sickness and everything it had forced her to miss out on, he said: ‘If she can get up every day and be happy, why can’t I?’
So far Norman has performed makeovers on patients in New York and Philadelphia and he is raising money to extend his reach.
His GoFundMe campaign to help cover travel costs has so far raised $1,000 of his $2,000 goal.