Hi, I’m Paula.  I have had Vitiligo for three years.  My first spot appeared on my forehead.  I am dark skinned so the spots are very noticeable.  The worse year ever was when I was 6 years old and in the 1st grade and not able to understand why this happened.  I was very active in cheerleading, dance, and Girl Scouts, you know, girl stuff.  Kids stared and teased me and made fun of me in school.  Almost everywhere I went people were asking me or my Mom what happened to me.  It made me feel sad inside, but I give thanks to God and my family who support me and love me unconditionally.  My mother always tells me to remember that you are loved; God made you special and unique and to be proud of whom I am in my skin; and to try not to worry about what people say, some people can be cruel, just pray and let God handle it. 

God sent an angel to us, Ms. Stella, and the AVRF.  I met Ms. Stella when I was seven years old when I went to my first Vitiligo conference in Tampa.  I met kids just like me.  I was so happy.  I had the best time of my life and it changed me forever.  Ms Stella has made a difference for us with all her time and hard work and the special things she does with the AVRF have shown me I’m not alone.  Thank you so much.

xoxo Paula