PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Alopecia is a rare auto immune condition that causes hair loss.
A Perryville family is quickly becoming well versed on this topic. 3-year-old Cale Schremp has a type of Alopecia that causes hair loss not only on the head, but the entire body.
His parents just want to raise awareness.
At first glance at Cale, you might wonder if he's alright.
"People think he's got cancer or had chemotherapy, I say no it's called Alopecia," said Wayne Schremp.
It's a diagnosis that took a while to sink in for the Schremps.
Last February at age 2, Cale started losing his hair.
"We would notice hair in the bathtub when he took a bath at night, and hair in the hood of his coat," said Nikki Schremp.
They went to several doctors, and the diagnosis never changed.
It's not considered life threatening, and because every case is different his hair may come back, or it may never come back.
He also doesn't have eye lashes, eye brows, or nose hairs.
"Within the last six months his fingers and toenails have been distorted and started to fall off," said Nikki Schremp.
Cale doesn't seem phased at all, and his daycare workers say he's just a normal kid.
"Everyday he has a nice smile, a cozy hug, never has a bad day," said Jill Steffens of M & M's Kids Kampus.
The bubbly 3-year-old now knows he's not alone. He has a new mentor, Trent Kiefer of Patton.
In the second grade Trent was diagnosed with Alopecia.
"I lost it all, no hair would come at all," said Kiefer.
His hair never came back.
"I went through basketball and everyone was like he's got a lot of energy for a cancer patient," said Kiefer."My mom was like he doesn't have cancer."
It's a genetic disorder. Three people in Trent's family have it. So far though, there's no known family history with Cale.
Trent wants to be there for Cale because he says it's tough emotionally.
"It's changed me," said Kiefer.
Now at age 20, Trent says he couldn't be happier.
He wants to show Cale that Alopecia shouldn't stop him from following his dreams.
"We see people look at him, and he just looks back and smiles," said Nikki Schremp. "It's sweet, he's embraced it and he's happy all the time."
Cale also has thyroid problems. His parents say it's a direct result of his condition.
The Schremps are among many who hope new research will open the door to answers, and one day a cure.