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Drawing on the strength of Girl Scouting

Katarina (center) in the orange hat

Camping. Selling cookies. Helping the community. Building lifelong friends. Learning compassion and respect for others. Never giving up. This is how Colorado Springs Girl Scout Katarina Lucardie, 11, from Troop 4043 describes her Girl Scout experience.

Katarina joined Girl Scouts four years ago as a Girl Scout Brownie, and she is now a Girl Scout Cadette.  Her mother, Carmela Aranda, is the co-leader of her troop.

And, recently, it is the strength she has found in her Girl Scouting experience, particularly the friendships she has made, that has helped her find the courage to reveal something many didn’t know about her.

Katarina was born with an autoimmune disease, Alopecia Areata, that causes hair loss. Several years ago the condition worsened to the point Katarina went bald and had started wearing a wig.

As Katarina coped with this new reality, her Girl Scout sisters were right by her side, supporting and encouraging her every step of the way.

“Girl Scouts will help you through hard times, and you will always have a friend in Girl Scouts,” said Katarina.

About a month ago Katarina decided she wanted to stop wearing her wig to school, Skyview Middle School. She worked with administrators, and just before Thanksgiving, put together a touching video which was played at a school assembly to explain her disease and reveal her condition.

“The Girl Scout Law has helped me greatly in learning how to deal with people, especially to be courageous and strong,” said Katarina. “Each part of the Girl Scout Law applies to me, my condition and now in my situation in telling the truth to my classmates.”

Three of Katarina’s Girl Scout sisters have been so inspired by her story that they have donated some of their hair to Locks of Love in her honor.

Katarina’s mother and Girl Scout troop co-leader, Carmela, couldn’t be prouder of her daughter. As a child, Carmela lost her hearing after suffering a severe ear infection and was routinely alienated by her peers.

“Katarina has grown up with deaf parents and has developed a caring and compassionate nature for other people, and being part of Girl Scouts has just expanded on that,” said Carmela. “I was a (Girl Scout) Brownie myself growing up, and I wanted the same positive experience for Katarina. It has been a wonderful and fun experience volunteering for Katarina’s troop, and worth all the hard work! I believe that Girl Scouts is a wonderful organization to be part of, and both Katarina and I have met so many caring people and made our best friends through Girl Scouts.”

Katarina and her Girl Scout troop

Support Girl Scouts of Colorado on Colorado Gives Day 2013

When you support Girl Scouts of Colorado, you support girls like Katarina in helping them find their courage, confidence and character. Make a donation to Girl Scouts of Colorado for Colorado Gives Day 2013 on Dec. 10th. Donations can be made at any time up until Dec. 10th, and will be increased by the FirstBank Incentive Fund. Thank you in advance for your support!



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