• Andrea Islas

My friend called Vitiligo

Hi! My name is Andrea and I am so happy to be sharing some thoughts with you thru this blog. But most of all, I’m so excited to be sharing my story with you all. I started my vitiligo journey when I was 5 years old and to be honest I cannot remember much of the beginning, but when I was a little older I did realized that something was different about me. But let me go back for a bit, It all started when I was 3 or 4 years old, me and my family went to an auto show in the city of Chicago, and silly me was playing around and got separated from my family and got lost for about half an hour. 30 minutes that of course felt like a lifetime!

But a year after that is when my vitiligo started to appear, doctors said that the scare I had back then could have triggered it and there is also the theory of being hereditary from my grandma and uncle. At first, it was just a little bit in some parts of my body and like I said, I really don’t remember much until I was about 8 years old and somebody in my classroom decided it was funny to point out my skin difference, of course all of that made it worse and it begun to spread very quickly and now 75% of my body is covered with spots.

When I was young, I remember kids staring when we were at church and my sister would make faces to them so they would turn around and wouldn’t dare to look back ( I used to love it, haha!), or my uncle telling me I was so cool for not being like everybody else and having two color skin. And you know, at some point I realized that, what makes my life so special is that I have had such an amazing group of people having my back during my journey, that I never really felt that different. My friends and family always made me feel special and for that I will always be grateful.

So, about a year ago I decided to create a project where I could share my vitiligo story. Where I could try my best to help people see it the way I’ve learn to see it, to see that it's not all bad and that there is another side to it, there always is. I want them to know there are people who will make them feel that they have a superpower and that vitiligo could be their strength, not their weakness. That they are not alone when facing the struggles that the condition could bring and most of all, help them see Vitiligo as a friend just like I decided to so a long time ago. You can find it on Instagram as @mivitiligoyyo, best thing of this project is that it has given me so much already because it got me closer to a community I was so distant from because I didn't even know it existed. I felt I was living in a bubble. And now, I am here being a part of something great that is creating awareness all over the world and the best is yet to come!

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