A grandfather in Brazil, suffering from a skin disease called Vitiligo is trying to revive the self-esteem of children who are also suffering from the same disease. To make them comfortable in their skin, he crochets dolls for them. The dolls he crochets have spots and uneven skin tone, both of which occur as a result of this disease.

64-year-old João Stanganelli, began to show signs of vitiligo at the age of 38. He earlier worked in a gastronomy industry, but due to a heart problem, he left it. Furthermore, João decided to take up a hobby to keep himself active and occupied. As a result, he and his wife took up crocheting. Though it was difficult at first, he soon got the hang of it.

“At first my fingers and back hurt a lot, today no more. I’m not yet retired, I still keep up my old work with food, but much less intensely. At the moment I spend 90% of my time with the dolls. I have many orders,” João told Bored Panda.

Key Takeaways:

  • A grandfather in Brazil, suffering from Vitiligo is trying to revive the self-esteem of children who are also suffering from the same disease.
  •  João Stanganelli, now 64, began to show signs of vitiligo at the age of 38.
  • Vitiligo is a long-term skin condition in which patches of the skin lose their pigment.
  • The condition often leads to low self-esteem among those having it.

What is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a long-term skin condition in which patches of the skin lose their pigmentation. These patches appear to be white in colour with sharp margins. Vitiligo affects roughly one to three percent of the world population. The disorder is otherwise harmless physically, but it can result in psychological stress and social stigma, as well as increased sensitivity to the sun. The disease affects nearly three million people in Brazil.

Image credit: Bored Panda

His first Vitiligo doll

João’s says that his first-ever project for crocheting a doll was for his granddaughter. He wanted to do something special for her so that she has something with her to always remember him. So he created a doll with vitiligo patches, and the idea of crocheting Vitiligo dolls was born.

The name of his first doll was Vitilinda, who had spots and uneven skin.

After the success of Vitilinda, João decided to do more inclusive crochet works. So he went on to crochet dolls in a wheelchair. These got him much appreciation, which made his work even more rewarding.

Read also: UK Fashion Brand Celebrates ‘Skin Imperfections’ In Latest Campaign

Joao’s inspiration to crochet Vitiligo dolls

Joao believes that crocheting Vitiligo dolls for children would help restore their self-esteem. They would also start feeling more comfortable with their skin.

Image credit: Bored Panda

He feels motivated and inspired by the joy and self-love that his dolls bring to people. João has started to use and explore social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to display his latest works.

“The spots I have are beautiful. What hurts me are the flaws in people’s characters,” Joao say, regarding those who have prejudice in their minds towards those suffering from Vitiligo.

Read also: Woman With Rare Skin Condition Poses For Pictures To Raise Awareness

Udisha Srivastav is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.