Amy Donato recently started running, and just last month ran in the Pittsburgh Marathon on a relay team to raise money and awareness for the Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP) on behalf of her son Dominic. Amy and her team of 12 raised over $3,300 and donated it to CAP. Every year, NuGo Nutrition runs the Pittsburgh Marathon for CAP and always donates a portion of sales of NuGo bars to CAP. This year, NuGo Nutrition was proud to meet Amy and Dominic.
When Dominic was 6 years old and entering first grade, he was diagnosed with alopecia. At his back-to-school haircut in August, they noticed that he had small bald patches around his ears. They saw his dermatologist and tried several treatments, but nothing worked. He was completely bald by the end of first grade.
Dominic is now 8 years old. As a result of their request, the founder of CAP spoke at Dominic’s school, which helped Dominic and raised alopecia awareness. His favorite sports team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Linebacker Ryan Shazier, who also has alopecia, has been a wonderful role model for Dominic. Amy explained, “His support and encouragement with Dominic has truly made a strong positive impact on his self-esteem and courage talking about the disease.”
Amy and Dustin shared these deep thoughts about what they would like others to know about alopecia.
“We would like others to know that alopecia can be a struggle emotionally, but Dominic is not sick. He is bald and beautiful. This is what makes him special and unique. We hope to help others by continuing to raise awareness of the disease and educating people that may not be aware. No one should be defined by the way they look on the outside but be seen for who they truly are. Dominic is a bright light and special to so many; hair or no hair, nothing will ever change that.”
The Donato family loves NuGo Dark and NuGo Slim protein bars. They began eating NuGo bars several years ago when the kids started participating in many sports activities. The whole family eats NuGo bars in the evening on the way to sports to tie them over until dinner, and sometimes the kids eat them on school mornings. Dominic’s favorite flavor is NuGo Dark Chocolate Pretzel. His 11-year-old sister, Mia, likes NuGo Dark Mint Chocolate Chip. His dad, Dustin, likes NuGo Slim Roasted Peanut, and his mom, Amy, likes NuGo Slim Crunchy Peanut Butter.
Mia is an ambitious 11 year old who has her heart set on a career in the culinary field. She enjoys spending time in the kitchen making up her own recipes. Her favorite pastime is playing “Chopped” with her friends and coming up with new creations in the kitchen. On several occasions, she has even used NuGo bars in her recipes! Mia enjoys playing soccer and swimming.
Dominic is the athlete in the family. He enjoys playing baseball, football, basketball and soccer. He has a ball in his hand the majority of the day, every day. Dominic loves playing all sports as well as watching them. He is very knowledgeable and can tell you all about football rules and plays. When Dominic grows up, he plans to be a professional athlete or a sports commentator/reporter.