Hello, I'm the mother of Paula, a beautiful, unique, extremely helpful, funny and loving princess. We first noticed a white spot on her forehead when she was only six years old, but within months it had spread from a tiny white spot to her neck, lips, chest, arm and hair (premature gray). Paula is dark-skinned, so the spots were very noticeable. Adults and kids stared and teased, asking me or Paula what happened to her skin. As a mother it was very hard for me to stay humble because I felt her emotion and I could see it in her eyes – the sadness and pain – and it just was heartbreaking to see my child go through this, not understanding why this happened to her skin and the cruelty of people in the world. Adults should know better, but are uneducated about Vitiligo, and kids are curious and don’t understand Vitiligo.
The emotional distress on a child or an adult who has Vitiligo can be tormenting. It has been a very hard year for Paula and her family. I always tell Paula to remember you are loved and God made you very special and unique, and to be proud of whom you are in your own skin.
Paula has seen numerous doctors. Dr. A. Duarte in Miami Children’s Hospital diagnosed her with Vitiligo in November 2009. She provided me with steroid cream to apply to Paula’s white spots. Paula received extra treatments three times a week. Her white spots are now brown spots and hardly noticeable. It’s such a blessing. I thank God for this. Because of the spot of gray hair, she still sometimes has kids that are curious and ridicule her in school and special activities, etc.
I asked God to help me and my daughter and God sent an angel to us, Ms. Stella, with the AVRF. This year will be the third year we have attended the AVRF conference. It is very educational and the best thing I could have possibly done was to introduce Paula to children with Vitiligo. Ms. Stella and the AVRF have made a difference for children with Vitiligo and Ms. Stella is a gift from God. God bless you, Stella, and thank you for all the hard work you do. We love you so much.
Proud mother of my princess, Paula