The AVRF would like to extend our appreciation to the teens below for helping us create these inspiring pages for our website. Thank you all for showing the entire vitiligo community that awareness and education are the first steps to acceptance and for speaking to the world about your life's experiences in living with vitiligo.
Hi, my name is Justin. I have had Vitiligo since I was 4. We first noticed it on my eye. Then it spread onto my knees and my feet. Throughout the years I was not really bothered by it until I was in 4th grade. School started in the summer, so I wore shorts; that’s when it started. I was at a new school that year and it kind of bugged me that they asked “What’s that on your knees?” I would say that it was nothing. The next year it was a lot easier because everybody already knew. Then during my 6th grade year, I had to start over again and I was afraid that people would ask me. I hated my Vitiligo. The thing that made my whole situation better was when my Dad showed me an MMA fighter with Vitiligo. His name is Scott Jorgensen. I haven’t had anything bad said about it. After my mom found the AVRF, it showed me that Vitiligo makes me who I am. It makes me different and special!
Diversity is Awesome!!
I know I am awesome. Vitiligo changed the color of my skin but it has not changed the person that I am. I have not and will not allow Vitiligo to stop me form doing anything; we all need to stand tall and walk proudly.
God chose us to be different and unique; this is how things were meant to be and we don’t always know why this is. I have had Vitiligo for most of my life; I was about two when I was diagnosed. While everyone tells me I am lucky that Vitiligo will not kill me, I still wonder if all the sunburns will affect my health in the future.
From the website you can see how Vitiligo has affected each of us differently. We have all learned first hand that everyone is not nice and some people are just plain mean. We have to be strong and look in the mirror and see the beauty that we all have within.
We all have parents that want to protect us and sometimes it gets really hard to tell my mom that I am o.k. with my Vitiligo and she needs to ignore the ignorant people who choose to stare, glare and make rude comments. It is definitely not my problem; it is theirs.
There are so many good things that Vitiligo has brought to my life. I have made new friends that understand what it is to live with Vitiligo and I have come to realize that I have another family, my Vitiligo family. They all mean so much to me and I hope that I can be part of the next AVRF convention in Florida to share more special times with my extended family. The head of our extended family and someone who will forever mean the world to us is Stella; she is our foundation, our rock.
Stella took me under her wing and she never let go. She shows all the Vitiligo children just how special they are and that they can do anything. She spends all her time trying to raise money to find a cure for Vitiligo and make her children’s wishes come true. It is all the people of AVRF and all the researchers and doctors who work towards finding a cure and to whom we are all so thankful.
I cannot change what I have but I can be the best me possible!!
Hi, I am Alex. Vitiligo showed up on my knees when I was six and spread to my ankles, elbows, hands, and lower back. Places I can cover up if I want to, but I try not too let Vitiligo choose my clothes. I don’t remember being diagnosed with Vitiligo; it has always just been there - it is part of who I am.
I have been at the same small school since first grade, so all of my friends already know what Vitiligo is, but I still get asked sometimes. This year in my class I help out the third grade class for community service and someone will always ask, "What’s that on your knees?" and I tell them I am a vampire. I have different answers for different people but I think it’s funniest when little kids ask because they believe me. But often kids are not as rude as adults who sometimes stare. I just smile back at them and try and make them feel bad for staring. I guess what I am trying to say is don’t let Vitiligo embarrass you.
I went to an AVRF conference for the first time last year. Vitiligo has never bothered me before but it was still cool to meet other kids with Vitiligo (my cousin has it, too). I also learned a lot about treatments for Vitiligo, but I still don’t want a treatment and probably would refuse a cure if one were offered to me.
My name is Tanner. I have had Vitiligo since I was about six years old. I remember going to the doctor to find out what was happening to my skin, but I’ve lived with Vitiligo so long that I can’t really remember what it was like not having it. My Vitiligo doesn’t bother me all that much, although sometimes I get tired of people staring at me when they see it for the first time. I can usually stop the staring by explaining what Vitiligo is, but I’ve had a few people who didn’t believe me! They’d rather believe I was burned or something crazy like that, so every now and then, I’ll make up a story instead of trying to explain!
Before I knew about Stella and the AVRF, I was the only kid I knew that had this condition. Now, for the past four years, I’ve attended the annual AVRF conference. Because of this, I have many friends from all over the United States and even some other countries. The conference gets more fun every year! My new friends have the same kind of problems as I have and know what it’s like to have Vitiligo. Thanks Stella – I hope you and the AVRF are around for a long time!