Media Release World Vitiligo Day
Did Michael Jackson want to be white? Did he bleach his skin? It's time for the truth to be told.
The truth about Michael is coming out on 25 June, the World Vitiligo Day.
It's the story Michael Jackson never told. The most famous entertainer in the world suffered from a disease called Vitiligo. And even after his death it's still one of the most misunderstood things about the king of pop. Vitiligo is a skin disorder that robs the body of it's pigment. It's the reason the most famous man on the planet went from black to white.
And Mr. Jackson was not alone. Well over 100 million people from all over the world suffer from this disease. It affects all nationalities, ages and genders, every level of social strata. One can find them in schools, hospitals, on TV and movies screens, sport arenas, and churches, while many went into seclusion and voluntary isolation from society.
Vitiligo is an acquired disease characterized by progressing skin depigmentation, due to destruction or malfunction of melanocytes, cells that produce melanin. It is present worldwide, and its prevalence in different countries ranges from less than 0.1% to more than 8% of general population (~1% in the United States and in Europe), while many cases go unreported due to the current dermatology practice.
Although vitiligo daily has destroyed the lives of millions of individuals since recorded history, predominantly in the developing world, there is no cure in sight. Few diseases give rise to more fear and loathing than vitiligo, especially in dark-skinned people, in whom it can be strikingly prominent. And because it is not contagious or life-threatening, patients often receive no support from national healthcare systems or insurance companies whatsoever.
The World Vitiligo Day is a public initiative aimed at building global awareness about vitiligo. Its ambitious goal is to raise 500,000 signatures to address the United Nations in order to recognize this neglected and debilitating disease. The choice of this particular day is a memorial to the popular artist Michael Jackson, who suffered from vitiligo since 1986 until his death, occurred on June 25, 2009.
This idea was first nursed by Steve Haragadon, the founder of the Vitiligo Friends network, and further developed by Ogo Maduewesi, the founder of the Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation (VITSAF) from Nigeria. In early 2012, VR Foundation, a non-profit organization squarely focused on vitiligo research, has joined the group to boost and to coordinate this mass-collaboration campaign. All activities are now united on the website www.25June.org.
What is the VR Foundation?
Firmly committed to curing Vitiligo, the VR Foundation is a non-profit organization funding and fast-tracking medical research across the biomedical spectrum. With bio-IT tools, it provides a collaborative an environment to bridge the gap between scientific frontiers and the patients who need treatment. The VRF has recently joined a group of biotech companies that are bypassing traditional mass-market cosmetic and orphan drug development indications to expedite product development.
[Local vitiligo support groups bio here]
I support the petition to designate June 25 as Vitiligo World Day and save millions of people worldwide from social isolation and persecution.
What is coming?
New York Vitiligo Support Group meeting
Vitiligo NY group meeting will be taking place on Wednesday, May 6th. We are so thrilled by the positive feedback we have received about the last meeting! We are excit...06 May 2015 18:30, 11th floor of NYU's Ambulatory Car...
Master-class on Vitiligo in Tehran
A one-day intense program, connected with 10th Congress of New Articles, Innovations in Dermatology. Notable speakers include Prof. Parviz Toossi and Prof. Fariba Ghal...13 May 2015 10:00, Skin Research Center at Shohada-e ...
Can Scenesse be used for vitiligo treatment?
The drug Scenesse from Clinuvel has been tested in clinical trials in relation vitiligo. Profs. Henry Lim, Mark Lebwohl and coauthors reported (PubMed) results of mult...
How can I cure vitiligo?
There is no cure for vitiligo, but there are a number of effective treatment options that can be discussed with your GP or dermatologist. The aim of treatment is to st...
I have a new job - should I tell colleagues about my vitiligo?
If you are starting a new job and you are concerned about stares and questions about your skin, try a proactive approach. When the time is right and you are feeling co...
Are there any famous people with vitiligo?
Many celebrities have dealt with vitiligo while remaining in the public eye, maintaining a positive outlook, and having a successful career. Here are a few courageous ...