Can you imagine being five-years-old and losing all your hair, including your eyelashes and eyebrows?
This was the reality for 23-year-old Norman Freeman.
He was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease alopecia.
Although Norman looks absolutely fierce today, the makeup artist has had a tough journey.
“It didn’t make it any easier when he was bullied by other kids for looking different. I was teased. People didn’t know if I had cancer or what … They thought I had cancer, and they still teased me,” he told the TODAY show.
Norman admits that his alopecia put him in a “dark place.”
Things began to change for him when he fell in love with makeup tutorial videos on YouTube.
This inspired Norman to enrol in beauty school.
Norman soon realized that he had a talent for making his clients look fabulous.
This is when the Pittsburg native that instead of exclusively working with supermodels on the runway, he would make over cancer patients.
His self-funded project has seen him visiting cancer wards and offering free makeover services to patients.
“I want to help people say, ‘I’m sick, and it’s awful, but I can still feel beautiful,'” says Norman.
“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 explains.
“I know how untouchable makeup can make me feel.”
Freeman’s has transformed patients in the East Coast, visiting hospitals in Pittsburg and New York.
But he hopes to expand his services further afield.
He has set up a GoFundMe page to help him with the travel expenses.
Norman is determined to make a difference.
“I don’t want anything — one girl drew me a picture, and I loved that.”
“I wish I could do 20 on Monday and 20 again on Tuesday,” he says. “It makes me a better person. I want to use my talent to help others.”
“There was a girl about 12 or 13 at a children’s hospital in Pittsburgh.
“She has no hair, and she’s missing homecoming, school dances, holidays … When I saw her mood, she was so positive. It warmed my heart,” he recalls.
“For her to be dealing with this at such a young age … I thought, if she can get up every day and be happy, why can’t I?” he says.
If you want to help Norman Freeman provide free makeovers to more patients, you can visit his GoFundMe page