Grandfather Crochets Dolls For Children With Vitiligo
One Brazilian grandfather is helping children with a rare skin condition find acceptance through his handmade crochet dolls.
João Stanganelli’s dolls feature light-colored patches intended to resemble those on the skin of people with vitiligo, a long-term condition which causes pigmentation loss that he has been living with for over 30 years.
After becoming semi-retired, João took up crocheting with his wife. His first project was a doll with light patches of skin for his granddaughter. Soon, he began making the dolls for other children and sharing them on his Instagram and Facebook.
He has since made other dolls designed to foster inclusivity, including one with alopecia and another in a wheelchair.
Vitiligo is estimated to affect between 1 and 3 percent of the population. Symptoms include increased sensitivity to the sun, as well as psychological stress for those living with the condition.
Dr Iltefat Hamzavi, a doctor specializing in dermatology is clear in explaining that it’s more than meets the eye.
“Vitiligo is often perceived to be ‘only a cosmetic condition,’ but it’s not just a disease of the skin,” he said.
“While the skin is a primary target, other organs are also at risk, and the emotional effects on patients can be devastating.”
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