My vitiligo first appeared when I was around age 10 on one of my knees. My mother took me to the doctor not knowing what it was. Back then, they told us, that it must be a pituitary disorder. I started to develop another white patch on my other knee and I also remember that it started really tiny, looking like a birthmark. After that, I got patches on my elbows, my ankles and around one eye. I looked like a panda bear, which was also my nickname at school. But it was not like I felt bullied. Everyone accepted me the way I looked and I never felt ashamed. Everybody was telling me, how cute that I looked and that they liked my patches. What really helped was, the fact that I had really good friends loving me for who I am. It made me feel special.
As I became a young woman, I did face different situations where I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. My hands and arms started with patches and I didn't feel like wearing t-shirts or going to the swimming pool. I only felt like wearing long sleeves and hoodies to hide myself. The worst question I ever got asked was, if I was a zebra?
I went to doctors, tried medical lotions and stuff like this, but it didn't feel right for me and I do hate camouflage makeup. Many people told me to cover my patches with camouflage makeup. And I was thinking like "Why in the world do you tell me this!" Did you ever look in the mirror? Because I am beautiful just the way I am. I don't know why I should cover myself and hide? Plus, I think, these are my tattoos! People with tattoos don't hide or cover their skin. So, why should I do this? I am beautiful just the way I am.
Me being a mother of two beautiful boys now, facing the fact that it is so important to teach kids that everybody does not look the same and that we are all beautiful and unique in our own ways. So too are the animals and all of human nature. We are all God's Creatures. I am proud to have vitiligo and I do hope to help others out there struggling with their skin, because there is a need to be supportive of one another.