World Vitiligo Day 2014

World Vitiligo Day Brazil 5This year, the campaign is coming of age as a truly global event. World Vitiligo Day'14 was the biggest yet, with a vast array of awareness and support events spanning the globe. Celebrations run the entire week, to accommodate multiple presentations, speeches and other events aimed at the patients and healthcare community.

World Vitiligo Day was inaugurated in 2011 as a grassroots advocacy project to bring the plight of the approximately 100 million sufferers worldwide into the spotlight (Wikipedia). As perhaps the world most famous vitiligan, the name of Michael Jackson has always been synonymous with vitiligo. The anniversary of his tragic and untimely death on June 25th was chosen as World Vitiligo Day in honor of his own personal yet very public battle with the disease. And growing number of celebrities like Jon Hamm, Scott Jorgenson, Holly Marie Combs and Yvette Fielding are becoming more vocal about their own experiences in living with vitiligo.

In the last three years, campaign grew from a few volunteers handing out fliers in the streets and a small number of dedicated doctors to 484,687 activists and 50+ clinics offering free skin check-ups in 17 countries. We have already set up two new 'world records' with 225 vitiligo patients seen by dermatologists at PGIMER in the morning, and 800+ doctors attending events in the afternoon. Forty WVD-branded rickshaws paraded the city all day long. 

Finally, burden of vitiligo is recognized by the mainstream media such as Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Time, MTV, BBC in the last two months, and ultimately by CNN International and Fox 2 TV today.

Early Days

The idea of a World Vitiligo Day was first put forward by Steve Haragadon, the founder of the Vitiligo Friends network from USA and then later developed locally by Ogo Maduewesi, a vitiligo patient who is the Founder and Executive Director of the Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation (VITSAF) in Nigeria. In early 2012, the VR Foundation has launched the 25June campaign and raised it to the global level . Stories from 2012 and 2013

World Vitiligo Day Chandigarh RallyReports and photos 

Activists from India, Brazil, Croatia, France, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Nigeria, Russia, USA sent us some exciting photos >>>

For more photos browse the World Vitiligo Day Gallery on Instagram >>>

Photo, top right: Instagram

In the Media

 Cnn Int LogoCNN: World Vitiligo Day: Skin disease takes emotional toll "The body acts as if it's allergic to its pigment cells," said Dr. Mark Lebwohl, a professor and dermatologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The pigment cells, also known as melanocytes, die or stop producing melanin, leaving patches of colorless skin all over a person's body." Vitiligo isn't physically painful, but Lebwohl emphasized it's not strictly a cosmetic condition either. Vitiligo doesn't discriminate, affecting people of all skin colors, but it is most noticeable in people with darker skin. Continue reading story by Lauren Russel

Fox2detroit LogoFox 2 TV Detroit: World Vitiligo Day with Lee Thomas. World Vitiligo Day is Wednesday, June 25. It's an annual day specially dedicated to people with vitiligo. Conceived by patients for patients, World Vitiligo Day is a truly global event that aims to increase awareness of vitiligo and raise funds needed for research and education. Watch video

Times Of IndiaThe Times of India (June 26, 2014): Docs dispel various myths about vitiligo. Despite it not even being a disease or having any harmful effect on a person, vitiligo (leucoderma), in which the skin loses pigmentation and develops white patches, is a much feared condition, especially in rural parts of the country. Story by Nagpur

Hindustantimes Logo BetaHindustan Times (June 26, 2014): In an initiatiive to create global awareness about vitiligo, World Vitiligo Day is observed on June 25 each year. There are many myths related to the disease, also known as leukoderma or phulvari, such as it’s contagious, not curable, that it can occur due to lack of a balanced diet, but each of these have been denied by experts. The disease can, infact, be cured if the patient undergoes a checkup on time. Story by Vandana Singh

TribuneChandigarh Tribune (June 25, 2014): Vitiligo (phulveri) continues to block matrimonial ties. Even as there has been a slight increase in awareness level on the disease, families of eligible bachelors are now found seeking consultation from skin specialists before accepting wedding offers from families that have one or more members suffering from vitiligo. Story by Ritika Jha Palial

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