MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — She is a high-end gymnast, a cheerleader and a straight-A student — and she’s done it while enduring the stares of her classmates, due to her condition.
Taylor Sorsveen was a 4-year-old darling, then they got the news.
“Took her to a dermatologist, and that’s absolutely what it was,” her mother Kathy said. “I didn’t realize it was going to come out so fast, and it did. So as a mom, it was a little heartbreaking, because you didn’t want to have your daughter go through that and have people make fun of her.”
Taylor has alopecia — a condition that robs you of your hair — but that’s only the beginning to this story. She’s now 16, and she’s active as a gymnast and a cheerleader, and she has a remarkable, can-do attitude.
“I think she’s made it her own, wonderful opportunity,” her father Steve said. “She’s more than confident in her own skin, not afraid to do anything.”
There are no other effects from it, so she chose to do what she loves to do — as an athlete and an example.
“It’s challenging, because everyone looks at you funny,” Taylor said. “People in stores just ask questions and stare at you, but you just have to learn to love who you are.”
After you meet her, you realize that’s the real story — that at an age when vanity is very much a part of life, she has accepted herself. She has looked it in the mirror, and she has set an example.
“It’s shown me to love myself, and it doesn’t matter what other people think as long as you’re proud of yourself,” she said.
That’s the takeaway — that she will not let others frame her life, or her dreams; that the mission is about staying active, participating and putting a premium on self-esteem.
“I get to show people that you are who you are, and you just have to figure out how to deal with it and love it,” Taylor said.
That’s the difference she makes in other peoples’ lives.
“She definitely has made me stronger,” Kathy said. “Because I think in the beginning it was really hard on me, and then I see the way she deals with it and I learn from her. She basically taught me how to deal with it. And so that’s really helped me a lot.”
And that’s the legacy she’s building at Osseo High School — that your potential is as high as you let it soar.
“She’s not perfect by any means — I mean, we have our issues — but I can’t ask for a better daughter,” Steve said. “‘A’ student, involved, great heart — she’s outstanding.”