04.09.2013 | World Vitligo Day 2013 report

World Vitiligo Day report

World Vitiligo Day 2013 was made extra special this year by the participation of support groups and organizations from all over the world, but it was made extra special by the participation of individuals who, in many different countries, really went all out do do their bit to help spread awareness and raise the profile of the campaign.

T- shirt challenge

Africa wvd 2013 2

Obviously, as a non profit advocacy organization, we had very little funding to work with and couldn't make t-shirts, but it didn't matter as the WVD t-shirt challenge got a fantastic response from literally hundreds of people all over the world, sporting their own WVD t-shirts to help spread the message. Thank you to everyone that printed, designed, made their t-shirts, you are all awesome.


Last year World Vitiligo Day was focused on Rome and had a great response and this year in Detroit the Henry Ford Hospital and it's Vitiligo treatment centre team with Dr. Henry Lim, Dr. Iltefat Hamvasi and Dr. Richard Huggins, the Southeast Michigan Vitiligo Support group and the Vitiligo Research foundation really managed to put together a wonderful event that really did make it a special

and high profile day.detroit 3 WVD 2013

It was kicked off by TV presenter Lee Thomas on Fox two with a World Vitiligo Day special where he interview Dr. Marsha Harris and the VRF CEO Yan Valle

fox detroit, wvd 1

Later that day a round table press event and discussion was held followed by a World Vitiligo Day.

The Detroit event was made even more special by the present of New York based French American artist Stephanie Corne, whose “facemotions” documented the inner emotions of vitiligans in Detroit and New York using mural, body paint and photography. The results are now ready to view here at www..stephaniecorne.com.

In recognition of the efforts of those in Detroit to raise vitiligo awareness, the mayor of Detroit and the governor of Michigan were both moved to give official proclamations declaring that Detroit and the state of Michigan officially recognize World Vitiligo Day.

Around the World

WVD cat

Support groups from all over the world held World Vitiligo Day support meetings and events including events in Puerto Rico, USA, South Africa, The UK, France and Germany.

In Boston, following World Vitiligo Day the Boston City Council delivered a resolution in support of the VITFriends' efforts in increasing awareness and offering education about vitiligo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbsmUfx6S0A

A week before the big day the T-shirt challenge was kicked off in Africa where VITSAF, had shirts printed and organised a walk for awareness.

In Kenya, VISOKE held a round table event and celebration for it's members discussing ways to help raise awareness.

In Kazakstan a WVD event was held that included free skin checkups for patients.

In Rome, a similar event was held, with the help of professor Torello Lotti.

In Hungary a small number of people took to the streets and also got online to make people aware of the World Vitiligo Day campaign, and for the first time Hungarians got into raising awareness.

There alsop awareness events on Croatia, Macedonia, and Georgia.

Support Groups

As a result of the World Vitiligo Campaign this year new support groups are being founded in the United States, and further afield too, in Africa. We will be doing our best to help with information and connecting people to get advice and support.

Facebook and the WVD petition

Over the period leading up to World Vitiligo Day and the day itself, more than 1000 new people joined our Facebook community making it the single biggest active vitiligo community in the World, and the activity online was unprecedented. The number of people showing support and really getting into the spirit of community was fantastic.

The petition

The World Vitiligo Day petition to the United Nations is a core element in the campaign to really make a difference in terms of worldwide awareness and support. The world vitiligo day petition was almost one year old two weeks before the 2013 event, and it was fairly static at around 16,000 signatures, but on June 23 it began to really take off in in the space of 3 days 100,00 people signed the petition and it's still going. To date we are up to 166,000 and counting, and this is largely thanks to the huge mobilization of support online. A huge thank you to the online community.petition letter

Onwards into 2014

With World vitiligo Day 2013 behind us we are now looking ahead to 2014 and the next World Vitiligo Day.

Through out this year there will be events focused on awareness and also focused on research and finding new treatments happening all over the world. We will be keeping track of these as they happen and keeping everyone up to date.

World Vitiligo Day 2014 will be coming from Sao Paolo in Brazil, so stay tuned and see you there.

World Vitiligo Day team

happy world vitiligo day


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Why Is It Important

There are a lot of people who don't want you to stand up for your rights and demand a cure. They say vitiligo is not life threatening and not contagious, and you must embrace a life of a pariah, hiding yourself from sunlight and from the society.

Vitiligo is an under-researched disease resulting in milky white skin patches on the skin. The breadth and complexity of the disease require international collaboration in therapy development. The severity of the disease calls for national healthcare support.

So, speak up for your condition and your rights. Sign the letter to tell the UN Secretary-General that you want recognition and support. It would be appreciated if you could give every member of your family or group an opportunity for signing.

Signatures count

We have collected 503191 signatures of the target 500000 (100.64%). Now let’s get 1 million signatures!


Firmly committed to curing Vitiligo, the VR Foundation is a non-profit organization funding and fast-tracking medical research globally. We challenge the disease of vitiligo with educational and medicinal enlightenment. We care; we educate; we advance knowledge. We are the VR Foundation.

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