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BN Skin Deep Series: “The White Spot that Changed My Life” – Living with Vitiligo

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BN Skin Deep Series is a 3 piece series which aims to provide an intimate account into the lives of people with various skin conditions (Vitiligo, Psoriasis and Albinism). The aim of this series is to create awareness of these conditions and help people both understand and appreciate the realities of living with these skin conditions. The follow up series on Psoriasis will be published next week.

My name is Ogo Maduewesi and I have a skin condition called Vitiligo, a very devastating disfiguring physical condition. The only way you can even begin to understand the effect of this disease is for you to imagine waking up one morning with a white splotch on the side of your face, arm, lip or just anywhere. Over time, the splotch enlarges and is joined by others on your hands, your arm pits, your head, your mouth, your belly button, even your groin, without having any power to choose where these splotches appear.

Sound like a bad dream? It’s actually the sort of thing that happens on a daily basis to the millions of Vitiligo sufferers globally, including Nigeria. The disease which causes people to lose some or all of the pigment in their skin had baffled medical researchers for years. However in April 2010 scientists confirmed that Vitiligo was an autoimmune disease (meaning the bodies own immune system turns on itself). This is the same disorder that plagued Michael Jackson and currently affects up to 1 -2 percent of the world population.

I started really thinking about what bothered me most about having Vitiligo back in 2006, after all, it is more of a cosmetic problem than anything else. Why worry about what other people think? When it has not changed who I am and the way God sees me. Vitiligo may have knocked us down but it hasn’t knocked us out! I guess my main worry with the disorder is that it puts a serious threat to ones physical appearance in a world which emphasises physical beauty above anything else. But I think another thing that bothers me the most is the level of ignorance about the disease in my own country.

What’s the noise about Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is one of the most psychologically devastating chronic skin diseases, with a major impact on both the sufferers and their families. Vitiligo is still today underrated and underestimated. Today there are dermatologists who minimize the impact of the disease, who trivialize the condition or deceive patients’ expectations, leaving them vulnerable to therapies not proven effective. Vitiligo is one condition that people do not really understand the impact, not only does it disfigure, its one condition that usually leaves it sufferers in misery, bondage and pains. People sometimes don’t realize how those living with Vitiligo feel, yet many experience various forms of self esteem issues when dealing with acne. Vitiligo is a condition that usually starts out of the blue. One day you are fine and then the next you notice a white spot which you ignore and before you know it many more spots appear.

Types of Vitiligo

Vitiligo generally appears in one of three patterns:

• Focal pattern, the depigmentation is limited to one or only a few areas.

Segmental pattern, some people develop depigmented patches on only one side of their bodies.

Generalized pattern, but for most people who have vitiligo, depigmentation occurs on different parts of the body.

Apart from the obvious visual effects, those who suffer from the disease also have considerable emotional and physiological effect such as social stigmatisation, segregation and general ridicule from people who don’t understand what it feels like to live with this disease. Our society still does not understand exactly how hard it can be for one to struggle to live positively in the midst of trials, challenges & difficulties such as Vitiligo.

Vitiligo has left people rejected by their loved ones, destroyed beautiful relationships because of lack of understanding and yearning for physical beauty. Women are more vulnerable to this as we live in a society which more often than not exalts the physical needs of the man above the emotional challenges of the wife.

Recently I heard of a story were a fellow female Vitiligo sufferer, who had been in a relationship with her boyfriend for over 10 years was on the verge of committing suicide. Her reason, her so called boyfriend who had practically been leaving off her had the nerve to ask her in the presence of her mother, why she thought he would marry her when there were plenty of ‘patchless’ women around. The lady in question was inconsolable, she kept asking me how she could possibly find love with her condition?

Even married women are not exempt from the social stigma. Many of my married friends who suffer from Vitiligo have told me how difficult it is to only be able to wear long skirts all their lives.

Positive Attitude towards Vitiligo

I think I have gotten to a point now where I have made up my mind to stop thinking about Vitiligo or what people think or how they react to me. I realized I have enough inner strength to over come any form of negativity. Vitiligo is not something I brought on myself’ neither there is there any known cause nor cure let alone prevention. So I have decided to have a positive outlook and pray every depressive thought out of my mind while approaching any issues I may have constructively.

Today I realize that I have to live with Vitiligo (though I believed from the first day that it’s temporal) and even though I still get rude stares I don’t let it bother me. Instead I see those people as the ones with issues and not me. Everybody faces rejection at some point in their life, even beauty queens and celebrities. For me its not so much about what the society expects one to look or act like but more about living to please myself and for my own happiness and not to keep struggling to meet everyone’s else’s standard.

I have experienced a new found freedom in living for myself. Loving and accepting who I am without the unnecessary pressure of what people expect me to look like. Previously Vitiligo dictated what I would wear and where I would go, now things have changed. I wear what makes me feel comfortable and go anywhere I want. I have learnt that self acceptance is key!

But most of all I thank God I have something that keeps me busy. The truth is I rarely remember that I have Vitiligo. Rather I am more concerned about other Vitiligo suffers out there who are finding it hard to cope with the emotional and psychological effects of the disease, especially women.

My advice to other Vitiligo sufferers out there and others who maybe going through other forms of personal challenges is that nothing can bring you down without your permission! Remember that everything in life happens for a reason and that we never really know when the happenings are positive or negative. Sometimes events that are seen as negatives are simply lessons in disguise. There is always a positive & negative side to any situation but only you can choose what side to focus on.

Today some of us have chosen to come to brace our fate and conquer the various challenges we face by giving hope and creating the desired awareness to deal with the general public ignorance. This has given the birth to the Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation (VITSAF) www.vitsaf.org. We strongly recommend that you have a look at the website, like they say no knowledge is lost. And please pass along the details of the site and organisation to your friends and other Vitiligo suffers you may know.

Download a PDF version of our Skin of Color & Appearance publication from our website homepage www.vitsaf.org. Also join our facebook group ‘Vitiligo in Africa’ for all you may want to know.

Photo Credits: www.medscape.com

76 Comments

  1. jay

    September 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    I’ve come across people with this disease and i always felt they brought upon themselves maybe with something they did or didn’t do, anyway now that u say there’s no cause, prevention or cure, i know better.lets still pray for a cure cos i can begin to imagine how people would react to you and other sufferers in this society of ours….i admire your courage Ogo, keep it up ok!!!

  2. miss moe

    September 17, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Thank you for posting this Bella, and thank you for your courage to share this and educate more people about your condition. I love your positive attitude and it will help encourage others too! God bless you. Also bella..Just a thought to add a healthy living column to your website… i think we are at the age where people read more and more aware of health issues..for example most people dont know what the NDM-1 bug is all about…its a new bug that is resistant to most antibiotics that was found in India an is now spreading fast… Could you imagine the effect it will have if it got to Nigeria…Please think about and you may just save a life or 2 via creating awareness.

  3. jcsgrl

    September 17, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Wow! This is really inspiring. These are the kind of stories I like to see published in BN. I’m happy with your confidence and new found love for the amazing being God created you to be. In the end life is all about how we embrace all aspects that it throws to empty ourselves in the service of God and humanity. Ogo, may God continue to give you the boldness to speak up for vitiligo champions “not sufferers.”

    • Ogo

      September 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks jcsgrl….nnnnmmm love that Vitiligo Champions!

  4. Geekgirl

    September 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    @ Ogo, thanks for sharing!May God continue to give you that inner strength!

  5. newyork

    September 17, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    wow…thanks for the awareness. may God be ur strength cos people are reallly judged frm their outward appearance. it is well

  6. Prism of an immigrant

    September 17, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Wow, is all I can say. I’ve seen people with this condition. I always urge myself not to stare or look twice at them. They are normal just like everyone else. They don’t deserve a second or “special” stare. God bless the author of this article for sharing with such boldness.

    http://lookingglassofanimmigrant.blogspot.com/

  7. ADEY

    September 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    This is informative and educative. There is this Guy suffering from vitiligo that comes to deposit money where i work; i always look for an excuse not to attend to him. I think this Guy had noticed this, i he does not come to my side again. I feel guilty right now, and from now on, i promise to be friendlier. May the Good lord give u all VITILIGO’s Champions the strength to carry on

    • Joohls

      September 17, 2010 at 6:38 pm

      did you really need a write up like this to know that you were being silly, childish and shallow? apply your brain cells when you’re at work. it helps.

    • Ib

      September 19, 2010 at 6:41 am

      Whats your problem??cant you read?Adey is apologetic.Do u even know what the word “guilty” means?!please if you want to take you anger out on something…go box the wall ….what nonsense!!
      n in the words of Adey “May the God Lord give you all Vitiligo CHAMPIONS the strength to carry on”.You guys are special!

    • WaleAdeniji

      September 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      Adey, God bless you. You will have to forgive joohls too for his outbust. Its good already that you feel guilty and you said it out. I therefore see no reason why one will be angry with you. We learn everyday. We don’t know about this before but now we do. Next time we see people with this sort of things, we will sure be friendly to them and not conclude perhaps they brought it upon themselves. Ogo, thanks for sharing.

  8. tols

    September 17, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I admire this lady tonnes! we go to the same church and anytime i see her ..what strikes me is…she dresses so well and looks so good. I rarely remember she has some patches at the side of her face as she exudes confidence. a lot of ‘patchless’ ladies don’t have half of her confidence. Great lady…lovely courage…incredible story x

    • Ogo

      September 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm

      Hi tols, am feeling good as am writing, I reach like dat?….my head is not swelling ooo…….lol, maybe you can help to show urself someday in Church. Thanks so very much for your words of encouragement, really appreciate.

    • tols

      September 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm

      Didn’t expect a reply! yay! I’ve been out of the country for some months now but would definitely introduce myself once i get back. we usually sit around the same side sef 🙂 Keep up the good work, Ogo!

    • tols

      September 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm

      Didn’t expect a reply! yay! I ‘m currently not around but would introduce myself next time I am in church. we usually sit around the same side sef 🙂 Keep up the good work, Ogo!

  9. Ogo

    September 17, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Hello people,
    Am so humbled by your comments, am really so grateful to God that we are making impact and that I have through this means educated a number of people who will in turn educate others.
    Thats my story and am ever ready to tell it and to answer any of your question. Please read more about us on http://www.vitsaf.org and keep a date with us for Dec 4th 2010 – ‘Walk for Skin Health’ http://www.vitsaf.org/walkforskinhealth

    Thanks all and God Bless

  10. Honey

    September 17, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    The cure for vitiligo is benoquin cream 30 percent which evens out the skin tone. It takes about 6 months to depig, but the downside is that the whole skin will be white. So if the woman has dark skin before, the cream will depig the melanin on her skin and even out the white patches. There is no need to live with the shame. Knowledge is power jump on Internet and do some research. If the woman needs where to get the crm, I can give her the American pharmacy that does sell. I myself don’t have vitiligo but I read to educate myself on different topic, there is a wealth of knowledge on google good luck. And I don’t work for the pharmacy either I live in Australia, the pharmacy is in America. But good luck.

    • Ogo

      September 18, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks Honey for your comment, Benoquin is for a treatment option called Depigmentation whereby you even out your skin color like MJ did, this is usually advised when Vitiligo has taken over more than 50% – 60% of you.
      I am creating awareness and supporting those living with Vitiligo, it may interest you to know that I have gotten over 60% of my depigmented patches repigmented (as in got my color back). I am a great fan of natural therapies.
      Please do not advise anyone to use Benoquin, it can only be prescribed by Dermatologists, anyways it cant even be bought over the counter. Please do research well too before advising in order not to mislead some ignorant Vitiligo patients. Thanks

    • shadow eagle

      September 20, 2010 at 4:58 pm

      Honey,
      it’s not a cure. its a treatment… for people who are 50% or more already depig’ed. it takes about 2= years to completely depig (i hear)… and you still have to keep up the treatments, because your pigment will comeback in spots, so then you’ll be on the reverese side. So there is no cure for Vitiligo, just several kinds of treatments. ALSO, from what i hear, u cant get Bemoquin anymore, they’re using monobenzone now… ~shadow~

    • alistair

      July 3, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      Honey what shame, I have vitiligo for about 30 years now, and have never felt ashamed. I have white patches on both arms legs chest back neck and face also a white patch of hair. What I find the worst is the fact that I can not go in the sun for long because the skin without pigment burns and blisters. To remove all of my skin pigment does not seem like much of a cure to me.

  11. D.O.T.M.H.

    September 17, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Thank you for this BN. This is enlightening.

    • D.O.T.M.H.

      September 17, 2010 at 11:01 pm

      No pun intended pls. Noticed the word after posting the comment if not I’d have used a synonym.

    • Honey

      September 17, 2010 at 11:46 pm

      Why bother.

  12. Omada

    September 18, 2010 at 12:36 am

    God bless you for your courage Ogo! be strong, be brave and never forget that you are BEAUTIFUL!

    I learnt a long time ago to accept everyone i meet, no matter what condition they have, because no matter what, i am no better than those with these health issues and it can happen to anyone.

    God bless you for your courage!

    • Ogo

      September 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks Omada for your kind and encouraging words, really appreciate

  13. Ernest

    September 18, 2010 at 4:26 am

    Ogo my baby, carry go! I dey behind u. I’ve heard and read ur story before. Am proud of you for all the awareness you are creating. May God be with u.

    • Ogo

      September 18, 2010 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks Ernest for your kind words. Hope you share as you get aware….it will help us more when you do

  14. Toyin

    September 18, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Ogo, this is a beautiful article. It has obviously already helped some people have a better understanding of vitiligo.

    @ Honey. Benoquin is not a cure. I am a physician and i can tell you that there is NO cure for vitiligo. Benoquin is one way to “treat” vitiligo and is not usually a good option for dark skinned people (except if they want to look like Michael Jackson). Also i don’t understand your comment on “no need to live with the shame” It seems this article was lost on you. Ogo wrote it for people like u………so you can know that there is no shame in living with a condition that was not of your own making.

    For other people who may want to enquire about bleaching with benoquin ( a lot of dark-skinned ppl are closet bleachers/”toners”)…….do not try it. It often leaves people who have stable skin pigmentation with streaky/patchy uneven skin tone.

    • Ogo

      September 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm

      Thanks Toyin, thanks for helping educate Honey more equally……

  15. bimpe

    September 18, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Bella thanks for this post and Ogo thanks for sharing. Hope you will go on air soon to really enlighten people. So many people are suffering in silence. If Micheal Jackson had not talked about it in the famous Oprah Interview people wont really know and even at that it is still been said that he bleached because he did not like been black. Some much foolish talk stems from mis-information. Thanks for sharing and i wish you luck in all your endeavours and thanks again BN for this kind of enlightening post.Keep it up

    • Ogo

      September 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm

      Really so grateful Bimpe for taking out time to read the article, yes been on air a few times before and will be going more. More to life – a Documentary on Vitiligo will be going on air soon (happy to say first from this Continent), we are presently working on 2min short stories for TV fillers in major Nigerian Languages including pidgin and English Language, sponsored by Chevron Nig. Ltd and Supported by Digital Jungle Studios. Just to let you know that we are on the Vitiligo awareness journey and struggling it out, not been easy, but I give all Glory to God. Thanks bimpe

  16. Sugabelly

    September 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Are you kidding me? Do you even know what Benoquin does??? Benoquin is a choice of ABSOLUTE AND EXTREME LAST RESORT.

    Benoquin DOES NOT even out the skin tone, it DEPIGMENTALIZES the entire skin. If you take Benoquin you must prepare yourself for a life without skin pigment. The skin becomes very delicate and you will spend your life taking extreme measures to avoid the sun and protecting your skin.

    It is EXTREMELY IRRESPONSIBLE for you to mention benoquin here casually as a “cure” for vitiligo.

    Benoquin is not a cure, it is an option that vitiligo sufferers who feel they HAVE NO CHOICE take (usually because their vitiligo has become extensive and spread to more than half their body)

    Once you use Benoquin, you can NEVER and I repeat NEVER GET YOUR SKIN PIGMENT BACK. You will be PERMANENTLY PIGMENTLESS for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

    Seriously it is beyond me how you can just casually tout Benoquin here as a “cure” for vitiligo. That is GROSS misinformation and beyond irresponsible.

    • inspired

      September 25, 2010 at 10:20 pm

      :)i like your post… it pays to actually KNOW!

  17. joicee

    September 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing your inspring story. You are beautiful woman , I hope you know that.

  18. Aba, Accra

    September 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    i have vitiligo too. it appeared as small patches on my thighs whn i ws abt 12 yrs. no one knew wht it was until i chanced upon an article on it in the Jehovah Witness’s ‘Awake’ magazine when i ws abt 25. I googled yrs after n came to terms wid wht
    Michael Jackson might gone. im 31 yrs now n thank God it hasnt spread so far. there r loads of strange diseases out there n we shouldnt be quick 2 judge. Ogo, may d good lord be ur strength n thks fr sharing.

  19. uchechi

    September 18, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Really…thanks for this information, learnt something new today. Keep up the good work!

  20. dee

    September 18, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Honey pls think before you talk…thanks…

  21. Kaye Olule

    September 19, 2010 at 2:38 am

    Lee Thomas is an anchor and entertainment reporter for US tv channel WJBK in Detroit. He was diagnosed with vitiligo when he was 25. He wrote the book “Turning White” http://www.turningwhite.com/

    • Ogo

      September 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks Kaye, I have read the very inspiring book and already concluded arrangement but for funds to have the books in our Resource center. We were to have Lee Thomas in Nigeria last year but couldn’t live up to it as we postponed and timing wasn’t right. In talks with his PR and hoping that we get him to our program in 2011.

      Please Share

  22. xtianbabe

    September 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Ogo thanks for this inspiring write up! You are beautiful no matter what anyone says.

  23. Mo'

    September 19, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Ogo many thanks for being an inspiration to many out there.Some others would cower in shame but you have chosen to make the most of out of it and also help others.Kudos to you. I must have seen you a couple of times in church wondering “who is this tall fine babe?”! I’m definitely saying hello next time our paths cross. *winks*

    • Ogo

      September 20, 2010 at 11:51 am

      Thanks so very much Mo and God Bless…will be nice to say hello one of these days in church

  24. Ujubaby

    September 20, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I neva 4 once criticised such pple. I have it at d back of my mind that, as animals come in various forms, so do humans, e.g. polar bear is pure white, bull is pure black, lion’s fair, leopard got spots and d list goes on. D point here is they’re all unique and are nothing but animals, likewise humans!

  25. emekalifornia

    September 20, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Ogo thanks so much for enlightening people about Vitiligo.I have what you call a birthmark which is boldly on the left side of my face and some have looked at me in a strange way from school,called me names like map of africa,nigerian map but that didnt deterred the Lord from showing his favours in my life.I can imagine the ‘stares’ when people come across Vitiligo beauties like you Ogo.I looked at MJ strangely without understanding his condition but God Bless his soul for how I have looked at his ailment only ooo not lifestyle.Ogo,I will send this site out to blogs and hope it spreads from there as a means of helping more people see this form another perspective if their brother/sister is passing through so they don’t look down on people.God Bless Bella for allowing you use this medium to create awareness.

    It can be so emotional when people stare and not understand that it can happen to them as well.Treat others the way you want others to treat you,Love and accept others the way they are.

    God Bless You once again.

    • Ogo

      September 20, 2010 at 11:54 am

      Thanks so very much Emeka…really appreciate your taking time to read thru and your help to share the article, pls do awareness is really important because I can tell you a number of people of my Vit friends are already better than they were before we started simply because they knw that pple are beginning to understand what they have. Thanks

    • obi

      September 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm

      ogoo, have u tried using neem (dogonyaro) leaves on d patches? ihear it works when u mash d leaves and place on the patches and also u should squeeze out the juice of d neem leaves and drink regularly, though very bitter ive heard it clears d patches with constant use

    • Ogo

      September 27, 2010 at 12:53 am

      Thanks on he neem suggestions, neem (Dogonyaro) is one affordable home remedy I preach, its been part of me, I presently use soap containing neem oil to bathe. Please know that it is not cure, most times the white patch returns when one stops the neem, so it has to be used for a long time. Thanks

    • Enora

      May 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      Hi my 10 year old brother has vitiligo on his eye lid, have you used the neem soap on your face? Also what brand neem soap do you use? He has a little bit on his lip too, do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much… for writing the article, for having courage, and for giving the rest of us courage!

  26. fokasibe

    September 20, 2010 at 7:15 am

    WOW. I had a friend in Uni who had vitiligo and the condition started when he was in Year one, second semester to be precise (then, I wasn’t in Uni)…I learned that it affected him so much that his school work suffered and he repeated Yr 1…that was when I met him -in my class..I understood how he felt cos we had an instant bond and he was very popular with the girls…nonetheless, he still had confidence issues and still affected his progress in school…what complicated matters was that he also had sickle cell anaemia….
    We lost him in June ’08 from complications due to an illness….he was one of the funniest people I knew….I wish he knew about Vitiligo Champions…I feel sure he would not have felt so alone…

    Thanks Ogo for sharing….I feel like I know you, eerie, I know! May God bless you in a special way and may He strenghten you! From all I’ve read, you are one fly, confident girl and I likey!!! No one would love you if you don’t love you first so you go girl! Bless you!

    • Ogo

      September 27, 2010 at 11:07 pm

      Thanks Fokasibe for your kind words, understanding and God bless u too.

  27. RMG

    September 20, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Ogo,i can’t be more impressed with such a positive attitude.I have personally never and would never look at people affected with vitiligo.My very close male friend has this and we barely even noticed.I love your attitude.carry on….

    • Ogo

      September 27, 2010 at 11:06 pm

      Thanks RMG, I appreciate ur kind words

  28. Eagle82

    September 20, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Thanks for the great story. I personally suffer from Vitiligo and have been suffering from it since I was 22 years old and now I am 28. No one can imagine what it feels like waking up every morning to this. Everything we do is 10 times harder with this condition. I really wish they would talk more about this throughout society so people do not look at us crazy. Why do I care what people think? Because its hard when a 5 year old will not come up to you because they are afraid and they ask you what is wrong with you. I dont blame the kids but its difficult dealing with something like that. Its hard to get a decent job because people think you are contagious. I wish people were more educated on this. Thank you for the wonderful article. May God bless us all.

    • Ogo

      September 27, 2010 at 11:05 pm

      Can really feel u Eagle, truly its only thos who wears the shoes that knows where it pinches Together we can achieve that desired public enlightenment and improve quality of life of persons distressed by Vitiligo and the disfigured. Hope you join us in the cause. Thanks

  29. inspired

    September 25, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    GOD BLESS YOU!!! love your confidence… may you continue to prosper… MUCH LUV!!!

    • Ogo

      September 27, 2010 at 11:03 pm

      Thanks and God Bless

  30. Maddie

    October 4, 2010 at 6:02 am

    I’m 16 and i’ve vitiligo since i was born, it used to be a curse i thought. I am also 6ft tall and that didn’t help either. I have it everywhere and my hair and eyelashes are white aswell in some places, My hands feet legs arms chest stomach back knees ankles wrists, but surpisingly barely any on my face. I was always the tall girl with white spots, giraffe, koi fish, cheetah leopard, you name it, and that was my name and i always hated showing any kind of skin, because people would ask what was wrong with me. Hearing that something was wrong with you at that age was not good and i hid myself from the world. Eventually my friends realized that it wasn’t contagous, and that i was normal, just whiter then the usual. Haha. Now i’m happy because i found someone who loves me for who i am (spots and all)
    I love what you are doing for the disease, if there is anyway i can help i would love to.

    • Ogo

      October 4, 2010 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Maddie, wow beautiful. Really good to know that you have conquered it all at your age 16, yes there are ways you can help, you can be great hope and inspiration to a whole lot of Vitiligo Champions globally, really wish I can speak with you rightnow. Having serious challenge getting a girl/lady with obvious Vitiligo for awareness program on TV urgently (sure you know why), praying hard that you are in Nigeria, pls email me on [email protected].
      Self Acceptance is the way Maddie and really glad you’ve got it

  31. Dimeji

    October 4, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Good going girl,
    I suffer from another autoimmune skin condition which is similar to Vitiligo in that it creates de-pigmented patches on your skin and has neither cause nor cure. At the onset I struggled emotionally/psychologically and was always quick to wear clothes that hid the affected areas. At a point I had to realise that this was a phenomenon that was only skin deep and had absolutely nothing to do with who I really was. Now I live a fantastic life: dating, playing sports, having an active social/work life etc and you would be amazed to find out how many people now look beyond the skin and actually appreciate me for the other qualities I bring with me.

    • Ogo

      October 5, 2010 at 9:33 pm

      Way to go Dimeji, unfortunately most people are yet to come to terms with Self Acceptance and living positively, more reason we have to do what we do. Autoimmune is a word that sounds so strange to people as well, I believe someday we will be able to bring much awareness and education to autoimmunde diseases.
      Thanks

  32. Mariamah

    October 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    BN, THANKS FOR THE AWARENESS, this will help us act possively to people living with this condition

  33. akudo

    October 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    hi ogoo, really admire ur courage, my father developed vitiligo three years back, and he eventually lost his job in jaunuary this year due to stigmatisation. though we have been taking care of his needs, he still believes there’s a cure for and only God knows how much we have invested in sourcing both orthodox and herbal drugs for him to no avail. i wish he would just come to terms with the condition and realise that we love him no matter his skin color

  34. Sanchu

    October 9, 2010 at 11:52 am

    This is really educating because i always see people with those patches but never understood it. The fact that it can start at any point in ones life is really disturbing. Am really interested in this and might have just found a new area of research.

  35. Tosin Enitan

    October 31, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Ogo, you are such a darling for working to create awareness about this, i only wish Micheal would have fought it as ur doing, instead of being ashamed of it. Do u know it was until his death that a whole lot of people knew that he actually suffered vitiligo. When he died then and people condemned him for bleaching cos he wanted to be like a white man, i had to always educate them that he had a condition called vitiligo, which affected him psychologically as well as physically. Its so sad, wish he was strong like you. N i believe there is a herbal therapy that wld help sufferers cos i remember there was a guy back in school then. He had vitiligo but his was about 60% all over his body, he was nicknamed ”burnt offering” cos he was a mischievous guy as well lols! Even with his condition he exuded so much confidence, which was a good thing, he even chased a lot of girls back then in school lols, well i saw him some months back in front of my office. We shook hands, hugged and talked for a while and i noticed that most of his patches were already repigmented! So reading this article of urs made me remember the incident. Yes there is a cure somewhere and some day it shall be discovered. Ogo i appreciate what u are doing, most of all i love ur confidence. God bless you.

    • Ogo

      March 17, 2011 at 10:21 am

      Thanks so very much Tosin for your understanding, educating people about Vitiligo and for your kind words. I believe too there is a cure out there, natural therapy has helped me so much (am an ardent believe in it)…we are hoping that someday there will be uniform effective therapy for Vit,
      Even though MJ couldn’t live up to it like majority of persons with, am strongly proposing his birth date June 25th as Vitiligo World Day http://vitsaf.org/blog/2011/02/16/why-vitiligo-world-day-for-awareness as truly today Vitiligo is gradually being refereed to as Michael Jacksons disease.

      Thanks

    • Ogo

      March 17, 2011 at 10:22 am

      MJ’s death date I meant to say

  36. Nekky

    February 8, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    This is Awesome Ogo, I admire your courage and your zeal, you don’t know how many people you have rescued with your cause. Well done and may the good Lord continue to strengthen you

  37. Ihewuokwu ifeoma stellamaris

    June 30, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Nobody can bring u down without your permission. Dat d statement u made abovd &am holding on to it &wil advice everybody to do same. Ogo keep d gud work, dnt worry, i bliv d right friends wil come around you. Dat’s wot u need.

  38. Ulo

    July 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I’m a victim of vitiligo and I thank my heavenly father for seeing me through and making me victorious. After much researching, I found a very good dermatologist in the United States that cured me of this skin disorder with the help of several laser treatment sessions. I’ve come across some people suffering from this skin disorder and have not failed to encourage and inform them that there is indeed a cure out there and I am a testimony to it. Thank you Ogo for creating awareness about vitiligo. I respect your courage. God Bless you

  39. Oma

    January 10, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    It’s 2013 n I just read this piece n I feel great, knowing Ogo feels the same way as I do. I’m a vitiligo champion 😀 n I’ve had it for 6years now, trust me, it’s very embarrassing. But for (marykay concealer, black radiance dessert shadow) i got my confidence back, as mine is the focal pattern, directly on my left brow. Nevertheless I’m confident without makeup as I’ve built a career for myself n with a good sense of style, people would even ask if it’s a beauty spot or some sorta make up. It’s reducing in size with zero effort n for this I’m grateful. Ogo thanks a great deal for this once again. <3

  40. Ogo

    March 21, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks so much Oma, am glad you are getting on with yours confidently….you can help someone live confidently too by joining us please.

    Thank you

  41. Ibinabo

    July 5, 2013 at 11:13 am

    ‘Tot it was some kinda birth mark or something, was just indifferent about it.. ignorance sha. Thanks for the information.

  42. david

    March 6, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    For many people, vitiligo is associated with the autoimmune response triggered by leaky gut syndrome. It can be reversed if treated properly from inside. External medications will not get rid of it for good. recommend two books: My victory against vitiligo, and Healing Psoriasis (skin disorder of similar mechanism), also Immune system repairing plan is also great. They are all available on Amazon for 15 dollars, you can spend hundreds of dollars on external med and get no improvement.

  43. Babygirl

    November 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    This is a very inspiring piece and I also appreciate everyone that has contributed so far. However, I may want to digress a bit by desiring to know if anyone knows anything about neurofibromatosis and if there is a cure to it. I have to ask this question as I am so impressed with the knowledge been shared by commentators especially on the natural therapies.

  44. Z

    November 13, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    I had this friend whom I met during Nysc, and he suffers from vitiligo. It was quite sever that he had one blue eye! I found it all very beautiful. He was like this exotic brave person whose everything was so “unordinary”. Every time I saw him I had the funniest urge to stand up and applaud. I wonder where he is from time to time. I hope his life has turned out as wonderful as his beautiful skin and blue eye!

  45. Z

    November 13, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    I had this friend whom I met during Nysc. He also suffers from vitiligo. It’s so severe that he has one blue eye. And I found it all very beautiful. He was like this exotic, brave person whose everything was very unordinary. Every time is saw him it had the funniest urge to stand up and applaud. I wonder where he is from time to time. Here’s hoping his life has turned out as wonderful as his beautiful skin and blue eye!

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