When Christine Paolilla was two-years-old, her father died in a construction accident. Widowed and penniless, Christine’s mother Lori was devastated. She turned to drugs and eventually lost custody of Christine and her older brother, who were sent to live with their grandparents.
Three years later, Christine was diagnosed with alopecia, an autoimmune disease, which left her bald and without eyebrows or eyelashes. She was mercilessly bullied in school because of her appearance and on one occasion, a schoolmate even ripped her wig off, leaving her humiliated.
Due to the ridicule of her peers, Christine grew up without even an ounce of self confidence and often came home crying.
After a while, Lori persevered and overcame her drug addiction. She found love once again, married and regained custody of Christine and her brother. The family of four moved from New York to Clear Lake City, Texas, for a chance at a fresh start.