Katherine was 5 when we first noticed some pale “spots” on her body. At first we didn’t think much about it, but as summer progressed they became more obvious. Eventually we realized it wasn’t just from irregular application of sunscreen. Her pediatrician, whom we trust immensely, told us it was just a fungal skin infection, likely from being in the pool a lot. As the summer went on, it became more obvious and showed up in non-sun-exposed areas as well. Our own research led us to the likely diagnosis but we got a referral to a dermatologist. Our daughter has Vitiligo, confirmed by a skin punch biopsy.
It was difficult to hear that our beautiful bright daughter had an autoimmune disorder without a cure, so naturally we did some research. The various treatment options were discussed and we even tried some of the topical treatments for a while, but they weren’t to Katherine’s liking (and we weren’t too fond of the black box warnings). We have always tried to educate Katherine about her treatment options but strongly feel her decision should carry the most weight.
While at times her spots don’t bother her and at times they do, the AVRF website has been extremely helpful to help her realize she is not alone. The website also facilitates her talking to her friends about her condition. She even got a group together for a bake sale to raise money for AVRF which she found very empowering. We are very proud of her efforts and openness in educating others, but also realize that it won’t always be easy, especially as the teen years approach. The AVRF website will continue to be a comforting resource and we look forward to making it to the Vitiligo Conference in Florida someday.
Jay, Proud Father of Katherine