7-year-old Lurie Children’s patient, Rosie Quinn is full of determination, positivity and spunk. Rosie suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disease that attacks hair follicles and prevents hair growth, resulting in baldness.
Not having hair can often alter a child’s confidence both emotionally and physically. But Rosie does not let her baldness be a downfall; instead, she encourages inner-beauty and creativity for pediatric patients across the world. Rosie creates scarves and superhero capes for patients with cancer and alopecia as part of her non-for-profit foundation, called Coming Up Rosies.
At two-and-a-half-years old, Rosie began sharing her love for art publicly, after her parents turned one of her paintings into a head scarf. Rosie told her parents that she wanted to help other children, without hair, feel beautiful; hence she launched Coming Up Rosies in 2016.
Coming Up Rosies strives to provide confidence, joy and happiness to children who struggle with self-esteem during their medical care. Her foundation forms art therapy programs in pediatric hospitals and treatment centers where she designs and donates custom superhero capes, head and neck scarves throughout the United States. She has donated scarves to 11 Illinois hospitals and has partnerships with Texas Children’s Hospital and both the National and Australia Alopecia Areata Foundation.
To help art come to life, her foundation provides smile kits, which include a paint brush, canvas and paint, to charity organizations like Ronald McDonald House as well as hospitals. Rosie invites patients to paint or draw a picture on a canvas. The children then take a photo of their artwork, and Rosie prints their image on a scarf or cape. To date, she has donated nearly 716 kits and has a goal of reaching 1,000 one day.
Rosie and her mom, Paula, said the scarves have given cancer and alopecia patients newfound confidence, while bringing together pediatric patients near and far. Coming Up Rosies teaches that beauty is not about esthetics, but the inside is what matters.
Her newest endeavor, superhero capes, has a symbolic message behind them – strength.
“When you wear a cape, you feel strong. And capes would give kids the motivation to fight against their disease,” says Quinn.
What’s next for Rosie? In the future, she hopes to be a Supreme Court Justice, and her long-term goal is to make pillow cases. Rosie is making a difference for kids without hair near and far; she aims to share a significant message: “Love yourself. You’re beautiful, and you’re just as special as anyone else.”