AUSTIN, Texas — Westlake boys basketball is off to a fast start in 2019, improving to 22-1 and winning their 41st district game in a row.
Part of the success is the rise of senior Rory Munro, whose story is much bigger than the game of basketball.
Judge a book by its cover and you may miss what's inside. You might miss out on a good story, a source of inspiration or a different world view.
"A question I get is, 'do you have cancer,' because they see me with no hair, they think I'm going through chemo," Munro said.
Munro has received confused looks, stranger glances and judgment since he was seven years old.
"So I have alopecia. I started losing my hair in second grade," he said.
Munro has no hair on his head ... or anywhere for that matter. No eyebrows. No eyelashes. Nothing. The simple explanation is that he's allergic to his own hair, but otherwise, he's completely healthy.
Munro told KVUE for the first few years, it was hard to cope with his autoimmune disease.
"I was really shy. I was wearing hats and stuff," Munro said. "My mom really helped me though. She would just tell me 'why do you care?' 'Why do you worry about any of that stuff?' 'Just move on, stare back at them,' she would say."
Munro said his experiences with alopecia have shaped how he sees the world.
"It's almost like a blessing that it happened," Munro said.
Having alopecia is part of who Munro is, but not only who he is. When he's not traveling coast to coast with a basketball in his hand, Munro trades the basketball for a suitcase and travels sea to sea.
Munro and his family love to travel the world. He said they've been to upwards of 28 different countries across four to five continents. When you ask Munro to name some of his favorite places, he rattles them off.
"Rome, France, England, Turkey, Greece, Tunisia, Montenegro, Germany, Australia, Fiji, Grand Camen Island, Anguila. And then in Asia –Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippines," Munro said.
PHOTOS: Westlake HS senior with autoimmune disease travels the world with family
Experiencing all these different places and cultures brought Munro out of his comfort zone. He said the way the rest of the world lives is completely different from Westlake and Austin. From different skin colors, different traditions, street signs, language – it's just different, he said.
But Munro is embraced by every place and everyone.
"That combined with alopecia, it's made me a better person to be more understanding and want to make a difference and help out," he said. "It's helped me a lot and shaped my personality."
After all ... judge a book by its cover and you may miss what's inside.
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