Crystal girl bonds with Vikings QB Dobbs over experience with alopecia
Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs is relatively new to Minnesota, but he’s already capturing the hearts of fans across the state.
A young girl from Crystal looks up to him — and it’s not because of his play on the field. Keira Johnson, 7, and Dobbs both have alopecia, an autoimmune disease where the body attacks hair follicles, causing hair loss.
This past weekend, Keira and her twin sister Ava got to meet Dobbs after practice at the Vikings’ training facility in Eagan.
Dobbs says his hair loss started in the third grade, and he gave Keira a few words of encouragement.
“At the end of the day, you’re not abnormal having alopecia, and that’s the biggest thing as a kid,” Dobbs said. “When you don’t see other kids going through it you think you’re an anomaly, but you’re not.”
In September, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS shared the story of Keira’s work to raise awareness surrounding alopecia. Since then, her family helped put on the Twin Cities’ first-ever Walk for Alopecia. And meeting Dobbs at the Vikings’ headquarters is inspiring the Johnson family even more.
“It’s just been amazing the way that we’ve been able to slowly trickle out awareness, and I never ever thought that would happen,” said Leslie Johnson, Keira’s mother. “Just wanted to do a walk to support Keira.”
During their visit, Keira even brought Dobbs a personalized drawing of outer space. And the one question she decided to ask him: “What’s your favorite planet?”
“My favorite planet is probably Saturn, with the rings,” Dobbs replied before returning the question.
“Saturn,” Keira concurred.
“You like Saturn, too? Let’s go, great minds think alike,” Dobbs said.
Whether you’re a star athlete or a 7-year-old with big dreams ahead, the stage is never too big to make a difference.
“I think people are becoming more aware of [alopecia], which is cool,” Dobbs said.
And Keira and Dobbs are now connected forever — and hope others learn something from their new friendship.