How a courageous South Shields girl is using The Greatest Showman as her inspiration as she tackles a rare genetic condition

Brave youngster Alice Todd is tackling a rare condition in a very inspiring way.

The seven-year-old from South Shields has ectodermal dysplasia, a genetic condition which only affects one in every 25,000 people.

In Alice’s case, it means that her hair does not grow properly. The roots in her scalp are not strong enough to allow the hair to come through, said mum Michelle Hudson, 30.

Alice was born with the condition but she ‘doesn't let this get to her’. She gets on with daily life and doesn’t let anything get her down, mum added.

Alice Todd who has been nominated for a Child of Courage award.

Alice has been nominated in the Child of Courage category of the Best of South Tyneside Awards and joins a growing list of amazing entries for this year’s awards.

The seven-year-old gets her inspiration from the epic film The Greatest Showman.

Michelle, who is also mum to Vincent, nine, and whose partner is Vince Todd, 31, explained: “From watching the film, Alice would point to her hair and say ‘this is me’ and know that it was okay to be different.”

Ectodermal dysplasia (ED) is a group of closely related genetic syndromes and the condition is caused by abnormalities of the ectodermal structure which refers to some of the earliest cells found in a baby.

Alice Todd who has been nominated for a Best of South Tyneside Award.

Dysplasia refers to a change from the usual pattern of growth. It is believed that more than 150 different syndromes have been identified.

ED can cause different symptoms in different people. Some of them include absence or abnormal hair growth, absence or malformation of teeth, inability to sweat, too little production of tears, reduced production of mucus in the airways, impairment or loss of hearing, respiratory problems and irregular skin pigmentation.

Michelle admitted: “If she won, to be honest, I would probably burst into tears.”

Alice Todd who has a rare genetic condition called ectodermal dysplasia.

She said Alice was ‘normally a happy, little bubbly girl and full of bounce. She tries to not let this affect her.”

Is there a role model, a carer, or a child who you think shows incredible courage? Do you want to honour a community stalwart who goes the extra mile to help others without asking for acknowledgement.

Is there a child of achievement who has gone that extra length to achieve their targets?

Alice Todd.

Or is there a young stage star who would deserve to win the Young Performer of the Year category.

All these and more will be honoured in our annual awards where you can make all the difference.

Get those nominations in. Send them by email to [email protected]


Local Hero Award.

Alice Todd who has been nominated for a Best of South Tyneside Award in the child of courage category.

Fundraiser of the Year.

Small business of the Year.

Sporting Achievement of the Year.

Community Champion.

Community Group of the Year.

Large Business of the Year.

Sports Team of the Year.

Child of Achievement.

Green Champion of the Year.

Child of Courage.

Young Performer of the Year.

Entrepreneur of the Year.

Covid hero of the year.

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The Best of South Tyneside Awards.